In 2008, Eric Suder created The Suder Foundation to research, develop and establish First Scholars—its holistic, student success program currently operating at a growing national network of fouryear public universities. Its mission is to dramatically improve the graduation rate of firstgeneration college students and prepare each scholar for a life with selfawareness, success, and significance.
The Suder Foundation
Currently on seven Affiliate campuses nationally and in its sixth year of operation, the First Scholars Program is achieving 90% freshman retention rates, and a projected 80% graduation rate compared to just 36% for firstgeneration students nationwide.
The First Scholars Program addresses both the cognitive and noncognitive challenges common to many firstgeneration students during their college experience. The goal is for its Scholars to graduate as leaders empowered for a fulfilled life—and make a difference in the world.
In 1987, Eric Suder started ESI, a leading manufacturer of business communications systems and has led the company from its humble beginnings through the unprecedented growth of today. A 40year business veteran, Suder possesses broad experience in sales, marketing, product management and executivelevel management positions in telecommunications and other hightech industries. He has been awarded ten patents from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and continues to drive innovation throughout his company today.
Suder’s “Success with Significance” philosophy has led ESI to develop and participate in numerous global and community programs dedicated to having a positive impact on the lives of all that it touches.
With 35 years as a successful principal and broker in Texas commercial real estate investment, development and brokerage, Deb Suder has been an entrepreneur all her life. Having retired seven years ago, she enjoys writing, traveling extensively with husband Eric, and nurturing life-long friendships with their eight children and ten grandchildren.
Deb has volunteered extensively throughout her life through various organizations impacting volunteerism, the arts, children’s health, and education, as well as women’s and family issues.
As a life-long learner, she has avidly studied human potential and development. Through First Scholars, Deb believes she has found her opportunity to express that passion to help make a difference for first-gen students and their families.