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Greenwich Executive and Renowned Philanthropist Robert Blyth Goergen Selected for Prestigious Horatio Alger Association Class of 2014

Mr. Goergen along with two Horatio Alger National Scholarship Recipients from Connecticut are recognized for their courage, resilience and commitment to higher education

WASHINGTON, March 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals and encouraging youth to pursue their dreams through higher education, today announced that Robert Blyth Goergen, founder and executive chairman of Blyth, Inc. will be inducted as a Member of this esteemed Association in April.  Mr. Goergen joins 11 other outstanding business and civic leaders from across North America in receiving this honor.  Additionally, the Association will award two deserving Connecticut students with its prestigious Horatio Alger National Scholarship this spring.  Association Members and Scholars are selected based on their determination to persevere and the success they have achieved despite innumerable adversities.

Named for renowned author Horatio Alger, Jr., who wrote about the merits of hard work, courage and honesty as the means to success, Horatio Alger Association was established in 1947 to uphold these tenets, which are core to the American Dream.  To further its mission, individuals who demonstrate initiative, resilience and excellence in their lives, such as Mr. Goergen, are inducted into the Association as lifetime Members.  This annual award has recognized exceptional leaders – all with an admirable devotion to philanthropy and higher education – who have overcome significant personal challenges to achieve terrific success. 

A native of Buffalo, NY, Mr. Goergen lacked a certain level of familial stability during his childhood with time spent living with different relatives as well as a brief period spent in foster care.  Despite such varied influences, Mr. Goergen developed a strong work ethic while excelling as a student both in and out of the classroom.  His academic and extracurricular excellence led him to receive a full scholarship to the University of Rochester, where he majored in physics.  However, a summer internship at Eastman Kodak led Mr. Goergen to a career in business and a fellowship at the prestigious Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.  His career has been marked by experiences at prominent companies such as Procter & Gamble, McCann Erickson (where he helped lead the wildly successful "Things Go Better with Coke" campaign), and McKinsey & Co.  Ultimately, Mr. Goergen embraced his entrepreneurial spirit and purchased Valley Candle Manufacturing in 1979.  This small company has grown into Blyth, Inc., which today operates internationally in 17 countries and enjoys sales in excess of $1 billion.

"Mr. Goergen life experiences exemplify opportunities that exist through our free-enterprise system for individuals with vision and the drive to succeed," said Tony Novelly, president and CEO, Horatio Alger Association and 2000 Horatio Alger Award recipient.  "We are proud to welcome Mr. Goergen as a lifetime Member of Horatio Alger and we believe he will be an outstanding role model for our Scholars."

Mr. Goergen currently serves as a trustee of his alma mater, the University of Rochester, and has done so since 1982.  He was the Chairman of its Board from 1990-2003 and he and his wife have generously donated more than $20 million to the institution support of undergraduate programs, a new athletic center and inter-disciplinary research.  Mr. Goergen also launched the Goergen Entrepreneurial Program at the Wharton School of Business, which has more than 1,000 student participants every year.  In addition, he founded The Goergen Foundation in 1976, which supports numerous organizations largely focused on education and disadvantaged children.

In accepting this honor, Mr. Goergen commented, "To be inducted into Horatio Alger Association – and to join its incomparable list of Members – is a gratifying and humbling experience.  While I am proud to join this Association in name, I am even more proud to join in supporting its mission as higher education is a cause close to my heart."  

Through private donations, Horatio Alger Members support the Association's National Scholarship Program, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2014.  The Scholarship program provides educational assistance to at-risk youth with an admirable commitment to continuing their education and serving their communities. Today, the Association administers one of the nation's largest, privately-funded, need-based scholarship programs in North America, having provided more than $100 million in undergraduate, graduate and specialized scholarships since 1984.  The following students from Connecticut have been recognized for their exceptional accomplishments with the 2014 Horatio Alger National Scholarship in the amount of $21,000:

  • Andre Siguencia, Joseph A Foran High School, Milford
  • Shalyn Stevens, Shelton High School, Shelton

For more information about Horatio Alger Association, Mr. Goergen and a full list of its Class of 2014, please visit https://www.horatioalger.org.

To view the complete list of 2014 Horatio Alger National Scholarship recipients, please visit https://www.horatioalger.org/scholarships/2014awards.cfm?styped=NS.

About Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans:
Founded in 1947, Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., fulfills its mission of honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals who have succeeded in spite of adversity and of encouraging young people to pursue their dreams through higher education. Horatio Alger Association supports students through annual undergraduate and graduate need-based scholarships and mentoring programs across the United States and Canada. Since 1984, the Association has awarded more than $100 million in college scholarships to deserving young people.  For more information, please visit www.horatioalger.org.


Nikki Elkins

484-385-2958 (office)

[email protected]

SOURCE Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc.

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