Florida Tech Mourns Loss of Nathan Bisk, Education Pioneer and Former Trustee
By Adam Lowenstein, FIT News Bureau // March 10, 2017
died late Monday night after lengthy illness
NAMESAKE OF BUSINESS COLLEGE, LEADER IN ONLINE EDUCATION
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA — Nathan M. Bisk, the online education pioneer, accomplished attorney and CPA, and former Florida Institute of Technology trustee who helped propel the growth and success of the university’s college of business, died late Monday night after a lengthy illness, his company announced Tuesday.
“Nathan leaves behind a pioneering education company that only he could have built. His determination, vision, brilliant mind and tremendous work ethic are the foundation of Bisk,” said the statement issued by his son Mike and daughter Alison, both executives at Bisk Education.
Bisk founded Bisk Education in 1971 to offer seminars for CPA test preparation. Within a decade, his namesake company had introduced video courses. And in the ensuing years, cutting-edge technology continued to drive Bisk Education, as interactive software, CDs and an early adoption of online-only courses powered its success.
Bisk garnered the attention of universities nationwide interested in providing online options for non-traditional undergraduate and graduate students, and clients now include Michigan State, Villanova and Notre Dame in addition to Florida Tech.
Nathan Bisk’s connection to Florida Tech, however, ran far deeper than the contract to develop and support the university’s online learning programs. He served for nearly eight years as a member of the university’s Board of Trustees, stepping down in January 2017.
And in 2009, he presented Florida Tech with a $5 million gift to support its College of Business. The funding would be used three ways: to establish an endowed chair, for marketing and branding of the college, and to generate growth of online business programs. In appreciation, the university renamed the college the Nathan M. Bisk College of Business.
“The university’s commitment to a quality educational experience that better prepares students to compete in an ever-changing workplace is very much in keeping with my philosophy of learning,” Bisk said at the time.
“It is my intent to help make the Nathan M. Bisk College of Business one of the nation’s premier business colleges, as well as one of the largest.”
Home to some of Florida Tech’s fastest-growing academic offerings, the college of business was again the benefactor of Nathan Bisk’s generosity in 2014.
His gift helped make possible the university’s purchase of the two-story, 22,000-square-foot Babcock Oaks office building a mile north of campus, which soon became the new home of the business college and all business education programs and related outreach.
“I’m not sure which was more impressive with Nathan: his peerless vision to enhance the power and reach of education through technology, or his significant generosity,” Florida Tech President T. Dwayne McCay said.
“What I am sure about is that Florida Tech was fortunate to benefit from both of those amazing character traits, and that our entire university community is mourning his loss. Though his impact at Florida Tech remains strong, Nathan will be sorely missed.”
CLICK HERE FOR BISK’S COMPLETE OBITUARY