Thomas and Susan Bisanz
Thomas and Susan Bisanz

Thomas 75BBA 80L and Susan Bisanz 75BBA are a power couple with a Goizueta Business School-centered love story: they met in class. Tom sat in the back row and Susan sat in the front.

Tom says he fell in love with Susan within three weeks of meeting her.

The duo have since led successful careers. After graduating fourth in his class and putting hours at the pool as a varsity swimmer, Tom went on to spend much of his career in real estate law and actively works with clients in the industry. Susan spent many years working in finance, including for AT&T while still in graduate school, before she switched gears and became a middle and high school teacher, a job she found very rewarding.

A Philanthropic Legacy in Education

But there’s so much more to the Bisanzes than their impressive careers; they’re also active philanthropists. The couple’s newest endowment to one of their beloved institutions is the Susan Hill Bisanz BBA Scholarship Endowment for students in Goizueta’s accounting program, where Susan spent her formative years.

This scholarship is the sixth that the pair have endowed for students at universities and prep schools. “Students are tomorrow’s leaders. Since attending school today is so expensive, this is one of our ways of contributing to a better tomorrow,” says Susan.

Another contribution they’ve made to Emory is the Thomas L. Bisanz Endowed Scholarship for the Center of Transactional Law and Practice within the School of Law, where Tom served as a member of the advisory board for eight years.

Beyond Borders: The Bisanzes’ Global Impact

However, the scholarships are only one facet of the Bisanzes’ philanthropy. The couple have also donated a main building and apartment building to a hospital complex in Uganda. The facility is dedicated to providing health care to mothers and their children. Additionally, they have funded 16 clean water projects for schools in Kenya.

“We live by one of our favorite lyrics. ‘To whom much is given, much is required,’” says Tom. He works in the residential rental business as a real estate attorney, broker, developer, and investor, in addition to being an owner of apartment properties and single-family rental homes.

Tom has been immersed in the world of real estate since he was born. His father was a home builder and apartment developer and owner, and both of his brothers owned and managed apartments. “The residential rental business has always been in my DNA,” he says.

The pair now live in Dallas, Texas, and within driving distance of their three children and five grandchildren.

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Alexandra Shimalla
Alexandra Shimalla is a freelance higher education journalist.