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Douglas Bayer '66

We Are Knox...

Douglas Bayer '66

Founder of the Bayer Chair in Earth Sciences

Security Architect, Retired, Microsoft Corporation

Physics Major

"Over the 40 years since graduation, I have come to view my Knox education as
the 'launching pad' that set the trajectory for the rest of my professional
life. My Knox education provided me with the flexibility and the agility to adapt to the significant social and technological changes that have occurred in my life by teaching me how to think, not what to think.

At Knox, I also met the person who would become my mentor and role model, Professor Wayne Green, who exhibited compassion and generosity towards his students that I will never forget. One of my favorite memories of Professor Green was the time he found me and my classmate Dick Fritz '66 in a physics lab trying in vain to make an instrument work. This was after we had pulled an all-nighter during BETA pledge week. Professor Green went back to his office, brought back two small cushions, cleared off areas on two lab benches, took away the instrument, closed the window shades, turned off the lights, and said he’d be back in a few hours.

Professor Green also provided Dick and me with a useful work philosophy that has stuck with us ever since: 'First, try a minimal approach. If that doesn’t work, just use a bigger hammer.'

As I approached my retirement from a successful career in the computer industry, I started looking for ways to help Knox. I especially wanted my gift to have an impact on current and future students. As my wife, Maria, and I worked with Robert King, senior director of gift planning, on the general mechanics of an endowment, we learned that Knox was planning to add earth sciences back into its curriculum. We immediately committed to funding the Douglas and Maria Bayer Chair in Earth Sciences.

The professor who fills this position will have the potential to help address one of the most relevant worldwide problems, global environmental deterioration, while also having a positive influence on future Knox students much as Professor Green influenced me."