This academic year, Case Western Reserve University has welcomed Jeremy Bendik-Keymer to the College of Arts and Sciences as the newly appointed Elmer G. Beamer - Hubert H. Schneider Professor in Ethics.
The Beamer-Schneider chair was established in 1996 by the Kent H. Smith Charitable Trust, which was then known as the 1525 Foundation. The chair was the result of a 10-year exploration by the trust to determine the best way to build an ethics program on campus. The trust wanted to support a wide-reaching program that embodied Kent Smith’s personal dedication to ethics and the ethics-based mission he cultivated at Lubrizol Corporation, which he co-founded with his brothers in 1928.
Today, the Beamer-Schneider chair resides in the College of Arts and Sciences and allows the university to recruit a master teacher who will inspire other faculty across campus to incorporate ethics into their teaching—particularly at the undergraduate level.
The chair was named for a certified public accountant and an attorney who were closely associated with Kent Smith and who exemplified ethical behavior in their professional lives. Hubert Schneider was Kent Smith’s lawyer and a former trustee of the 1525 Foundation. He was also a friend and mentor of current trustee Phillip A. Ranney (LLB ’61). Elmer G. Beamer was Kent Smith’s accountant and also a former trustee of the 1525 Foundation. He played a similar role in the professional and personal life of the trust’s other current trustee, William B. La Place.
“Both men lived exemplary lives based on strong ethical rules,” Ranney notes. “As I progressed at Schneider, Smeltz, Ranney & La Fond, Hubert Schneider was more than just a mentor, he became a second father to me.”
“We visited Elmer Beamer in a nursing home before he died,” La Place recalls. “When we told him that we were naming a program after him and Hubert Schneider, he told us he could not think of a greater gift than being associated with this colleague in an ethics program at the university.”