Dennis Ramsier Pays it Forward

Dennis Ramsier

Dennis Ramsier

In a Northeastern career spanning more than 30 years, Dennis Ramsier served the Northeastern community in many ways. As the undergraduate dean of the D'Amore-McKim School of Business for almost two decades, he and his staff advised and graduated more than 10,000 students. He then moved to graduate business programs and worked to revitalize the alumni network. Later, he became director of full-time MBA programs and finally the director of program and student services for all graduate programs.

With diverse interests and an intellect to support them, Dennis enjoyed earning a chemical engineering bachelor's degree from the University of Pittsburgh followed by an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. After working at jobs in engineering and international business, he heard a call to explore teaching. To test that out, he taught and assisted in the management of the business college at the University of Liberia under the aegis of the U.S. Peace Corps. He followed that with several years at a Quincy development firm, but academic management called again and he joined the Northeastern community in 1976. The caliber of the faculty, the co-op program, and the entrepreneurial spirit of the students convinced him Northeastern was the place to settle.

Throughout his time at Northeastern there was a task at commencement in which he found joy—standing at the base of the stairs that business graduates descended, ostensibly to catch them if they missed a step, but primarily to shake the hand of each graduate and offer encouragement to remain close to Northeastern.

An infectious conversationalist, Dennis thoughtfully reflects, "When you assess your life and your successes, you realize that you received help from many sources." He believes there are always outside influences that make an individual's success possible. That's reason enough to give back to benefit future generations of students.

During his tenure Dennis supported the university through the payroll deduction plan and in retirement through gifts of stock. Most recently, he has included Northeastern in his will. Reflecting the spirit of his motivation, he has established the Pay It Forward Fund to support business school undergraduates, explaining, "No one does anything fully by himself or herself—they receive help and support along the way. We should all find a way to pay it forward so that others can benefit." His smile says it all, "Make it so that somebody else can have that too. You can feel good about that."