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Grateful for Education and Opportunities: Craig Stevens ’84


In the late 1970s, Craig Stevens ’84 decided he wanted to “get into computers.” 

But, he confesses, “I really didn’t know what that meant.” When investigating colleges, all he could find were computer science programs — more about engineering and hardware, and less about the angle he was looking for: using computers in sales, marketing and management.

Luckily, Craig found his perfect match close to home, at Bentley. “It just seemed so different and it intrigued me,” he says. His passion garnered a unique opportunity in his junior year to join IBM’s Waltham office selling and supporting office system products to mid- and large-sized organizations throughout the Northeast. The role also included supporting Bentley’s office programs and putting PCs in dormitories, all while attending the university full-time. 

Looking back, he recalls many of his peers at IBM also pursuing part-time MBAs after work: a graduate-level education he was getting on the job at IBM. “I got the equivalent of what they were learning in graduate school as an undergraduate. Bentley provided an extraordinary education.” 

After graduation, Craig stayed with IBM and then continued his career more as an entrepreneur in smaller start-up software companies dealing with electronic mail and electronic office systems. He eventually relocated to Arizona, where he transitioned into working in professional managed services generating revenues and overseeing operations on six continents with 10,000+ employees.

Things came to a crashing halt when a health crisis forced him into medical retirement. He admits it wasn’t an easy transition. “I started looking for different ways to be fulfilled.” 

The solution? Volunteer. Craig has served as an executive in residence and mentor at Arizona State University, working with business and engineering students, and as a team leader at the Pat Tillman Foundation, which supports service members and their families. He also reconnected with Bentley: he became a member of the 1917 Legacy Society, which recognizes those who have included Bentley in their estate plans. 

“After what happened to me, your perspective changes,” he explains. “I’m in the mode where I’m thankful for what I have. I want to know that I can make a difference for others, one person at a time. As for Bentley, I’m grateful for my education and the opportunities I was given, and I want to give back to the school to help future students.”