Mr. Donald R. Raber - 2006 ETSU Foundation Margin of Excellence Award

Donald Raber

Donald R. Raber is a native of Baldwin, New York. Raber joined the U.S. Navy upon graduation from high school and served about the USS Aldebaran AF-10 and USS Preserver ARS-8. His naval career included the participation in the 1962 Cuban Blockade during the tense days of the Cuban Missile Crisis and in the search ro the lost nuclear submarine USS Thresher in 1963.

Immediately after his military service he enrolled at Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York, where he received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree. His further educational endeavors earned him his Master of Business Administration degree from Marshall University, Huntington, W. Va., and completion with honors from the American Bankers Graduate Trust program at Northwestern University. Don also completed the Executive Development program at the University of Tennessee.

Raber started his financial career as a management trainee for the Jamaica Savings Bank in Jamaica, N.Y. He then joined the option trading firm of Henry Blair & Co. where he was recruited by the NYSE member Bache & Co. as an option traders and an assistant department head. Staying with Bache & Co. he moved to Charleston, W. Va., as a brokerage account representative. He was then given and accepted an opportunity to become the Senior Trust Investment Officer of National Bank of Commerce of Charleston, W. Va. In 1979 Raber became the Senior Trust Officer and head of that Department. In 1981 Raber was recruited to head the Trust area of the National Bank of Sullivan County where he was named a Senior Vice President and Trust Officer. After its acquisition by the First American National Bank of Nashville, Raber was promoted to Executive Vice President. Rather than accept a transfer away from the region, Raber joined Home Federal Savings & Loan in Johnson City as Senior Investment Officer. After the purchase of Home Federal by First Tennessee, Raber chose in 1993 to form his own investment management firm called Aldebaran Financial Inc. Aldebaran Financial Inc. is a leading money manager in the Tri-Cities. Raber also serves as statutory Director of the Bank of Tennessee. Raber has taught economics, accounting and finance as an adjunct faculty member at West Virginia State College, Morris Harvey College (now the University of Charleston) and East Tennessee State Universtiy.

For over 20 years, Raber has given insightful and beneficial leadership related to the investment program of the ETSU Foundation. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Investment Committee of the Foundation as well as serving on the Executive Committee. A testament to Raber's investment leadership and guidance has been the relative performance of the Foundation's portfolio during the difficult investment markets of past few years. Typically, Raber passes the spotlight of recognition for this performance to his colleagues who serve with him on the Investment Committee. As recognition for Don's steadfast support and service to the university, the ETSU Alumni Association named Don as an Honorary Alumnus in 2003. He received the President's Distinguished Service Award from Tusculum College in 2004 where he also serves as a Trustee of the College. Raber heads the Finance & Investment Committee at Tusculum and serves on the Executive Committee. In 2005 Raber was named to the President's Advisory Committee at Furman University. A member of the First Presbyterian Ministries Foundation headquartered in Shreveport, La.

Don and Loyce ("Su") Ritzler Raber have been married over 38 years. They have two sons, Don II and Peter. Don II is a professor of Political Science at Presbyterian College, Clinton S. C. He completed his undergraduate studies at Furman University, and then earned both his master's and doctorate at Harvard University. Don II was the first full-time high school student ever admitted to ETSU as an undergraduate student while also attending high school full time. Peter completed his undergraduate studies at Emory & Henry College and currently is manager at Aldebaran Financial Inc. Peter is expected to receive his MBA in December of 2006. The Rabers have one granddaughter, Sydney, who will be four years of age in June.

The Rabers' have established the Olive Jane Raber Scholarship Endowment at ETSU and continue to fund it on an annual basis. They are members of the President's Silver Society for their cumulative giving to the ETSU Foundation across the spectrum of the university. The Rabers have also established scholarships at other area colleges.