After 50 years of running companies, Penn State alumnus Richard Bard says it all comes down to partnerships.

“I’ve spent my professional life understanding that my decisions and how I spend my time will impact my employees and their families. That extends to Penn State Smeal and its students, faculty, and staff as well,” he says.

To honor a lifetime of professional achievement, service, and philanthropy to Smeal, Bard, a founding member of the Smeal Board of Visitors, has been named the third recipient of the Robert W. Moore Lifetime Achievement Award.

Charles H. Whiteman, the John and Karen Arnold Dean of Smeal, says few people have done more than Bard to advance Smeal’s mission.


“We’ve been incredibly lucky to have Richard’s passion and advocacy at work for Smeal for the past three decades,” Whiteman says. “His contributions to the Board of Visitors have been foundational to our success.”

Bard founded Bard Capital Group, a private equity investment company, in 1990 and has been involved in the acquisition and operation of a diverse group of private and publicly traded businesses and real estate holdings. He often takes an active role in operating the companies he invests in, as the chairman or chief executive officer.

His experience extends to active community and public service board participation and includes time as a director and board chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
Bard credits Penn State for giving him the skills and resources to become a successful entrepreneur and says that he’s done his best over the years to thank the University for providing the right foundation for success.

“Richard embodies the characteristics we want our students to develop during their time at Penn State. He is a true leader — visionary, innovative, passionate, creative, and resilient. His philanthropy, both to Penn State and outside of the University, demonstrates the value he places on higher education and his commitment to elevating the collegiate experience for tomorrow’s business leaders,” Whiteman said.
This award is the latest in a string of accolades from the University. In 2000, Bard received the Alumni Fellow Award, and, in 2015, he was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus by Penn State.
Bard said that he was humbled to receive the award.

“With ‘Lifetime Achievement,’ there have been many twists, changes, and challenges along the way. Being part of Smeal has been a constant for me. It has been a great source of vision, camaraderie, and sharing of knowledge, and I am truly honored to receive this recognition from people I respect and appreciate,” he said. “Bob Moore was a special, long-time friend, making this even more meaningful.”

— Anne Louise Cropp