May 10, 2017 – Nathan M. Bisk, a pioneer of online education and longtime benefactor of Florida Institute of Technology, has been honored by the university with a posthumous doctorate degree.
Bisk, a former Florida Tech trustee for whom the university’s College of Business is named, died in March at the age of 76. The company he founded in 1971 provides online program management services for dozens of the university’s degree programs.
Florida Tech President T. Dwayne McCay presented the honorary degree to Bisk’s children, Michael and Alison, during Spring 2017 Commencement ceremonies on May 6 on the Melbourne, Fla., campus.
“My father believed wholeheartedly in the power of education to transform lives for the better,” said Michael Bisk, a Florida Tech trustee and chief executive officer of the Tampa, Fla.-based Bisk Inc. “He was immensely proud of our affiliation with Florida Tech and would be delighted to be an honorary Panther.”
A native of New Jersey, Nathan Bisk earned his Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from Franklin & Marshall College, and spent the early part of his career on the auditing staff at firms including Ernst & Young and Merrill Lynch.
While attending law school at the University of Florida and preparing for the Certified Public Accountant exam, he started his business offering CPA exam prep via recorded lectures and textbooks.
The company grew, expanding its distance learning services to computer software and online learning, and helping launch one of the nation’s first fully online MBA programs in the mid-1990s. Today recognized as a global leader in online program management, Bisk Inc. has facilitated more than 1 million enrollments for its university partners.
Bisk first partnered with Florida Tech in 2004 to offer a Master of Science in Information Technology in a 100% online format. Powered by Bisk’s industry-leading technology, the innovative program provided working professionals with 24/7 web-based access to Florida Tech’s world-class curriculum and faculty.
The partnership flourished and now comprises nearly 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, as well as for-credit certificate offerings. Florida Tech’s online programs are ranked among the nation’s best by U.S. News & World Report.
In 2009, Nathan Bisk donated $5 million to support Florida Tech’s College of Business, including expanding its online programs and establishing an endowed chair.
“It is my intent to help make the Nathan M. Bisk College of Business one of the nation’s premier business colleges, as well as one of the largest,” he said at the time.
The college was renamed for Bisk, who served as a Florida Tech trustee for nearly eight years, and in 2014 he bestowed another gift to support its expansion into a 22,000-square-foot facility.
McCay said Bisk’s lasting impact on Florida Tech extends far beyond the building that bears his name.
“Nathan was a trailblazer in higher education, and his considerable contributions to our university community, both personal and professional, are reflected in the accomplishments of countless Florida Tech students who are bettering themselves through education,” McCay said.