Celebrating the Life of Alumnus, Longtime Board Member Richard B. “Rick” Inman

Posted September 22, 2022

Richard B. Inman, ECON 1973, loved the School of Economics, and he loved Georgia Tech. He spent countless hours over the years serving on the School’s advisory board and advising its faculty. He spent even more speaking to students about a long career that ranged from development to finance, food, banking, and utilities.

Inman’s generous support with his wife, Mary Inman, also allowed for the creation of the Mary S. and Richard B. Inman, Jr. Professorship in the School of Economics, two excellence awards for faculty, and the flexibility to provide top-notch programming and opportunities for students to connect with Nobel Laureates and others.

Inman, the recipient of the Dean’s Appreciation Award in 2021 and a former trustee of the Georgia Tech Foundation, passed away in August doing one of his favorite things — hiking in Colorado.

“Rick’s enthusiasm for the School and our success was palpable,” said Laura Taylor, chair of the School. “He took so much joy in our accomplishments, and it was a privilege to spend time with him, share our story, and get his feedback and ideas.”

Inman’s dependable counsel was a mainstay for numerous leaders in the School of Economics and the Ivan Allen College, said Kaye Husbands Fealing, dean and Ivan Allen Jr. Chair.

“Over the years, Rick devoted much of his time and talent to Georgia Tech,” said Kaye Husbands Fealing, dean and Ivan Allen Jr. Chair. “He always focused on the positive and on the potential of the School of Economics, Ivan Allen College, and Georgia Tech. His legacy of support for our faculty, students, and mission will continue as an enduring testament to his unwavering optimism about the future.”

Tibor Besedes is one faculty member directly affected by the Inmans’ generosity.

“It has been instrumental in helping me advance my research agenda,” said Besedes, the School’s Inman Professor. “I’ve been able to present at conferences, foster closer working relationships with my collaborators, and increase the visibility of Georgia Tech’s endeavors in economics research.”

Besedes said the Inman Professorship also has allowed him to help advance the careers of his graduate students by supporting their research efforts through data purchases, travel funding, and other assistance.

Inman’s work with the School and Georgia Tech was in addition to a stellar career in business. After graduating from Georgia Tech and earning an MBA from Stanford University, he worked as an investment banker for Citibank and White Weld and Company. He later served as CEO of Tucker Federal Bank, owned two food companies, and was part of a group that purchased a power plant in Guam. In 2001, he co-founded Ironwood VII, a firm that develops and finances public/private partnerships.

He worked to bring a low-income housing tax credit to the island. According to Inman’s obituary, he built nearly 600 homes in Guam and Saipan, where residents enjoy free after-school care and summer camp for children. He also was a founding member of a foundation that helped build schools there.

Taylor said she came to count on Inman’s guidance and friendship, which developed over many board meetings, informal brainstorming sessions, and working lunches.

“I think he genuinely loved the School of Economics and Georgia Tech,” she said. “They mattered to him, and he mattered a great deal to us. He will be missed.”

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Richard B. "Rick" Inman, Jr., center, with (from left) former Provost Rafael Bras, Former Dean Jaqueline Royster, David Laband, and John Wylder at the Inman Professorship Reception in 2015.

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Michael Pearson
Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts