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An Education in Value Investing
This article originally appeared in the Bentley Magazine.
Pictured: Kendall O'Connor (fourth from left) with her grandparents, Dick '56 and Judy; father, Richard '81, MST '87; and brother-in-law, Iain Fryer.
Kendall O'Connor felt right at home from the start of her graduate classes at Bentley. No wonder. She's the fourth generation of her family to attend, with ties dating to the 1920s and Harry C. Bentley himself.
First to attend was Harry Roy Worth, who graduated from the school in 1924. The family still has his copy of a book about the CPA exam, signed by Mr. Bentley as its author. Kendall's grandfather and father are also alumni and, this fall, her brother-in-law began studies toward an MBA.
Different factors figure into each person's choice. But family members share a pragmatism about what it takes to succeed in business and a belief that Bentley best offered that skillset.
That thinking goes back all the way to the late Mr. Worth. His daughter, Judy, says that her father never mentioned exactly what led him to Bentley, but she believes its solid education at a good price was the chief reason.
Judy's husband, Frederick Richard O'Connor — who goes by Dick — had a similar motivation.
"They were teaching me to jump out of that school and get a job," says the now-retired CPA, who remembers instructors, admiringly, as "hard-nosed teachers who had worked in accounting and in industry."
Dick met Judy the year he graduated, 1956. Though it was pure coincidence that he and his father-in-law both attended, Judy says that her father was happy to have a fellow alumnus in the family. The tradition continued when their oldest child, Richard, decided that Bentley would provide a solid foundation on which to build his career.
Richard graduated in 1981 and, despite an economy in recession, landed an accounting job right away. He would return to earn a master's degree in Taxation in 1987.
"What I really remember is the dedication of the professors," Richard says, noting that he and his father both studied with former dean Rae Anderson. "He was a fantastic professor — not only funny but the brightest guy I knew."
Twenty years on, the torch has passed.
"Bentley's program is exactly what I wanted and exactly what I needed to get a job," Kendall says of the Master of Science in Marketing Analytics. "It's just a bonus to have a legacy there."
The sentiment resonates with Iain Fryer, a telecommunications engineer with AECOM who is married to Kendall's sister, Alex.
"I looked at BU, BC, MIT, Harvard, and I went to see all their programs,” he says. "I got the best feeling from Bentley."
Must be that familial vibe.
Bentley was also named No. 1 for Highest Freshman Retention Rate, No. 3 for Most Innovative Schools and No. 4 for Best Undergraduate Teaching among the regional universities in the “2019 Best Colleges” report.