Mr. Donald Raber
2003 Honorary Alumni
Education over the years has been an important facet in the life of Donald R. Raber. After joining the Navy in 1960 (right out of high school), he quickly realized that the only thing that separated him from the junior officers with the gold bars on their shoulders was four years of a college education. His naval career was highlighted by participation in the Cuban blockade in 1962 aboard the USS Aldebaran AF-10 and the search for the sunken nuclear power submarine USS Thresher in 1963, while serving aboard the USS Preserver ARS-8.
Immediately after his military service he enrolled in Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York. He completed his undergraduate studies in three and a half years and graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration. In addition, Raber received his Master in Business Administration from Marshall University, graduated from the American Bankers - National Graduate Trust School at Northwestern and completed the Executive Development program at the University of Tennessee.
A native of Baldwin, New York, Raber started his financial career as a management trainee for the Jamaica Savings Bank. With Wall Street calling, he took the opportunity to join an options trading firm on Wall Street called Henry Blair & Co. From Blair he joined Bache & Company and continued to learn the securities business. Staying with Bache, and trying to shorten a long commute to the city, Raber moved with his family to Charleston, W.Va., as a stockbroker. He was given an opportunity to return to banking in 1975 and joined the Trust area of the National Bank of Commerce, becoming the senior trust officer in 1979. He was recruited to head the Trust area of the National Bank of Sullivan County in 1981. Currently, Raber serves as a Director of the Bank of Tennessee and a Trustee of Tusculum College in Greeneville.
Since coming to the Tri-Cities he has served as a senior officer of the First American Bank (now AmSouth) and Home Federal Savings Bank (now First Tennessee National). In 1991 he formed Aldebaran Financial Inc., a registered investment advisory firm that he now heads. Raber has taught economics, accounting and finance as an adjunct faculty member at West Virginia State College, Morris Harvey College (now the University of Charleston) and East Tennessee State University. Raber has been working with the investment area of the Foundation and the university since the mid-80s. He currently serves on the executive board of the ETSU Foundation and chairs the Investment Committee. The Rabers established the Olive Jane Raber Scholarship at ETSU in honor of his mother. In addition, the Rabers have also established scholarships at other area colleges.
Raber is married to the former Loyce (Sue) Ritzler (36 years) and they have two sons. Don II is a graduate of Sullivan South High School and Furman University. He earned both his Master and Ph.D. from Harvard University and is an assistant professor of Political Science at Presbyterian College. Peter is also a graduate of Sullivan South High School and will graduate from Emory & Henry College in May of 2003. At that time, Peter will be joining Aldebaran Financial as a portfolio manager assistant. Raber is also the proud grandfather of Sydney Jane Raber, who was born on his father's 97th birthday!