As Mark and Kimberly Butryn’s 25th class reunion at Georgia Tech approached in 2020, the couple decided to make their first major gift to the Institute, endowing an undergraduate scholarship.
But the Covid-19 pandemic postponed their class reunion for a year, so the Butryns decided to mark the occasion in 2021 with a second gift equal to the first in support of the Butryn Family Scholarship Endowment Fund.
Pulp and Paper Background
The Butryns’ preference is for their scholarship to support students interested in the pulp and paper industry, where the couple built careers, or those participating in Georgia Tech’s Co-op Program, which Kimberly found invaluable during her undergraduate years.
Mark is now vice president of sales and marketing (Mill Group) for Greif Inc., which acquired Caraustar Industries (where he had worked since 2016) a few years ago. Prior to that, he had worked for 21 years at International Paper.
The Butryns married six months after their graduation in 1995 (Mark, chemical engineering, and Kimberly, industrial engineering).
For seven years after graduation, the Butryns both worked for International Paper, first in Louisiana and then in Tennessee. But Kimberly left the company in 2005 to focus on raising their children.
Now living in Kennesaw, the couple moved back to Georgia in 2017. Fall 2021 has been their first as season ticketholders for Georgia Tech football games.
In recent years, Mark has talked to Georgia Tech students taking a pulp and paper engineering course about the industry. “I discussed the different career paths one could take,” he said. “The vast majority of my career has been on the commercial side with a focus on strategy work and sales and marketing.”
Rewarding Hard Workers
In establishing the scholarship, the Butryns aren’t interested in necessarily supporting students with the highest GPA or the greatest need.
“We would like to help someone who has been working very hard and provide additional incentive to consider the pulp and paper industry as a career,” Kimberly said.
The scholarship will be awarded out of the School where students are known personally by administrators. As the endowment accrues income, students will begin receiving scholarship benefits.
With two sons now in high school, the Butryns want to establish a family tradition of philanthropy. This relates to Mark’s upbringing in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where his small town (Escanaba) had a collective scholarship program integral to the local culture.
That support, along with his status as an Eastman Kodak National Scholar and other scholarships, helped fully cover his studies at Tech. Kimberly, who grew up in a small farming community in South Georgia, had loans and co-oped.
“Our hope is that this scholarship will help students be able to leave college with less financial burden,” Kimberly said.
To inquire about making a gift in support of ChBE, contact: Lauren M. Kennedy (Individuals & Foundations) email@example.com, or Donna Peyton (Corporate Development) firstname.lastname@example.org.