honors alumni who have demonstrated outstanding achievement
in their chosen career or area of professional life.
Name: James Beyreis
Major: Civil Engineering
Home: Arlington Heights, Ill.
Employer: Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.
Job Title: Vice President of Technical Training, Global Fire and Signaling Sector
James Beyreis ’66 is vice president of technical training for the global fire and signaling sector at Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., in Northbrook, Ill. Previously, he has held three other vice president positions at the same company, for which he has worked for more than 40 years. Throughout his career, Beyreis has been heavily involved with such organizations as the Society of Fire Protection Engineers and the National Fire Protection Association, serving in a variety of leadership roles and earning the NFPA’s Distinguished Service Award in 1996. Underwriters Lab also has honored Beyreis with three professional engineering awards, and he was presented with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award in 1990. Recently, Beyreis became one of seven founding members of the William Henry Merrill Society, honoring Underwriters Lab employees who have made a significant and sustained contribution to fulfilling the company’s mission of public safety. In addition to his Valparaiso University bachelor of science degree in civil engineering, Beyreis also holds an M.B.A. from Roosevelt University.
When sharing thoughts about receiving the VU Alumni Association Alumni Achievement Award, Beyreis says, “I am honored, flattered, and somewhat amazed to receive this honor. I have been blessed in so many ways throughout my life and career. I have been blessed to have had so many opportunities and to deal with opportunities to contribute to the improvement of public safety in my work with Underwriters Laboratories, and blessed to have had great support from all those with whom I have worked, at all levels. I have been blessed to have had a supportive family, and only regret that my dear wife is not able to share in this with me. That all this is deemed worthy of [an] award is very gratifying. For the most part, though, life is its own reward, and I am grateful Valpo played a role in what has turned out to be a very rewarding life – with more to come.”
Beyreis goes on to discuss the impact of Valpo on his life. “Of course, my Valpo years were some of the best of my life. I especially enjoyed the companionship and good times with my brothers at Sigma Tau Gamma, and with the small group of seven or eight that made up my civil engineering class. Institutionally, I greatly appreciated the respect that the faculty showed to students in so many ways, and their support of each student as an individual, and for their commitment to true learning.”