Under the Judge's Gaze
David Carl Irmer's extraordinarily successful career as a commercial developer began in 1961. Since then, he has built several development companies including The Innisfree Companies. He has three sons and a daughter and resides in Tiburon, CA, with his lovely wife Martha.
I came to Menlo after applying to Stanford. When I spoke to Admissions at Stanford, they suggested that I attend a year at Menlo and said that if I solidified my position scholastically, they would consider me. I thought that this had to be good. Menlo's business school was touted as a great undergraduate education, and I knew that's where I wanted to be.
I didn't have the skills that I should have had coming out of high school, simply because I didn't support my scholastic capacities in high school. I was an athlete, and none of my high school teachers engaged me to the degree that they should have. So after a couple of months of marginal scholastic activity at Menlo, Judge Russell took me by the nape of the neck and said, "You've got to commit. You've really got to get involved here." To oversee my scholastic progress as closely as he did, on a nightly basis if necessary, was pretty unique. He made me want to succeed. It was a great experience.
I had to leave Menlo early because of a family situation. I transferred to the University of Miami, where I graduated with a business administration degree. I always regretted that I hadn't spent all of my time at Menlo. I felt that I got more out of my year at Menlo than my two and a half at Miami. It was more personalized. My courses and instruction were almost tailor-made. I remember many evenings when I was struggling with accounting. I just could not get it. I would be tutored by my instructor, not a student. Faculty would sit with me to walk me through some of the challenges I was having.
I feel that a lot of the early successes I experienced came from Menlo. It has been a great thrill to support the College and to have two children earn Menlo business degrees.
"A lot of the early successes I experienced came from Menlo. It has been a great thrill to support the College and to have two children earn Menlo business degrees."
David Carl Irmer