As an English major he learned to think critically and independently - a trait that would serve him well in his business leadership.

On the advice of a college coach, Eric Belcher '91 (English) applied to the previously unseen and unheard-of Bucknell University. In a subsequent visit with his dad, he "walked on campus and fell in love." What began as a complete unknown would help lay the foundation for his future soaring business success.

Influenced his freshman year by English professors John Wheatcroft '49 and John Murphy, Belcher became an English literature major. "I enjoyed the work," he says, "reading the great books, talking - I got caught up in it." His major led to copious amounts of time spent in what he calls "the most beautiful building on campus" - Bucknell Hall, which houses the Stadler Center for Poetry. That and his Sigma Chi fraternity house became his mainstays, housing his deepest and fondest Bucknell memories. "I bounced between the two worlds, and it felt natural." Belcher recalls his "well-worn path" between the two places. These combined worlds made for a socially active and intellectually fulfilling undergraduate experience.

While confessing that he hadn't quite thought out what he would do with his major after he graduated, Belcher says that as an English major he learned to think critically and independently - a trait that would serve him well in his business leadership.

Following an MBA at the University of Chicago, he worked at a few jobs, but found himself wanting more: more risks, more challenges, more excitement. And he found it at InnerWorkings, a global print management company that he joined as a startup. As president and CEO he took the company public and led the whirlwind growth to expand its global footprint from four countries to 44 within a year. InnerWorkings posed an intriguing challenge: Could he use a disruptive, new business model to "re-draw the landscape of an archaic industry and bring it into the information age?"

In an increasingly digital world where social media are booming, Belcher took on this challenge within the print industry. As he continues to blaze that independent path from Bucknell, he is conquering that challenge.

Posted March 2013

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