Oklahoma State University
Renowned OSU graduate Bud Seretean dies PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 17 August 2007 09:13
ImageThe entire Oklahoma State University community was shocked and deeply saddened this week by the sudden loss of OSU graduate, long-time donor and dear friend M.B. “Bud” Seretean.  Our heartfelt sympathy goes to his family and many friends.   A carpet industry pioneer, successful entrepreneur and philanthropist, Seretean was one of the nation’s leading advocates of healthy living.    Bud was one of our school’s biggest benefactors, helping establish both the Seretean Center for the Performing Arts and the Seretean Wellness Center.  He also provided student scholarships and has been giving to OSU golf since 1973.

Message from the president, regarding Bud Seretean 

 

ImageM. B. (Bud) Seretean, carpet industry pioneer, successful entrepreneur, philanthropist, author and wellness proponent, died Monday, August 13, 2007, in London, England.  He was 83.  The cause of death was a brain hemorrhage.

A native New Yorker and long-time resident of Chattanooga, TN, Seretean lived for the past 25 years in Boca Raton, FL.  He served as a field artillery officer in the Mediterranean theater during World War II before getting a BS degree in marketing from Oklahoma State University and an MS degree in retailing from New York University.  He began his career as an assistant floor coverings buyer for Allied Stores in New York.

Seretean co-founded Coronet Industries Inc. in Dalton, GA, in 1956, and served as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for 30 years.  The carpet, furniture and wall coverings manufacturer quickly grew to $400 million in sales and 4000 employees and was purchased in 1971 by RCA Corporation. Seretean recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Floor Coverings Industry Foundation.

Seretean’s entrepreneurial spirit continued after his decades at Coronet.  His other successful business ventures included co-founding Opti World in Atlanta, GA, which was ultimately sold to Lens Crafters; and co-founding ABC-TV affiliate WGXA in Macon, GA.  His lifelong love of sports led him to the NBA in the 1970s when he co-owned the Atlanta Hawks and served as President and General Manager of the franchise until it was later sold to Ted Turner.  Seretean then became a member of the Board of Directors for Turner Broadcasting Systems (TBS), the Atlanta Hawks and the Atlanta Braves and served on all three Boards for 20 years.

Seretean was known not only for his business acumen but also for his dedication to and tireless efforts on behalf of the various charitable organizations with which he was affiliated.  He was an ardent supporter of his alma mater, Oklahoma State University.  He served as President of OSU’s Board of Governors and received an honorary doctorate from OSU in 1999, on the 50th anniversary of his graduation, for his professional achievements and philanthropic activities.

It was during a visit to a Pritikin Longevity Center 25 years ago that Seretean realized the importance of wellness in his own life and committed himself to promoting its benefits to others.  He founded and financed The Seretean Wellness Center at OSU and served as the driving force for the Seretean Center for Health Promotion at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, which promote healthy lifestyles by providing members of the university and the surrounding community access to state-of-the-art facilities and educational programs.  Seretean served for 12 years on The President’s Council for Physical Fitness and Sports.  At 80, he was inspired by teachers Nathan Pritikin and Dean Ornish to write and publish LIVING HEALTHY TO 100.  His dedication to practicing and promoting wellness culminated in his being awarded one of the first Lifetime Achievement Awards from the President’s Council for Fitness and Sports.

Seretean served as President of the Jewish Welfare Federation while living in Chattanooga and has for decades supported Israel. In recent years, he found a way to marry his commitments to Israel and wellness. Through Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, Seretean funded multiple facilities serving the soldiers of Israel, including a state-of-the-art wellness center located on a military base in the Negev.  Recognizing his Romanian heritage, Seretean built a Holocaust memorial to the Jews of Dorohoi, Romania.  It is located in the Judean Hills outside Jerusalem.  He also planted a grove of trees honoring Romanian Jewry through the Jewish National Fund.  

Seretean believed in expanding access to the arts and to education as well and provided primary funding for the M, B, Seretean Center for the Performing Arts at OSU and endowed numerous scholarships at several universities.  He was a member of the Board of Directors at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, and served on the Board of the UC (University of Chattanooga) Foundation.  Seretean was a member of the National Board of Directors and Chairman of Government Relations Committee for the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs of America.

Seretean’s survivors include his fiancé, Judy Murata; daughters Tracy Seretean, Amanda Grossman and Patricia Seretean; son, Scott Seretean; stepson, Mark Warner; sisters Zella Witt and Rhoda Naidus; grandchildren Farol, Arden and Derek Seretean; three nieces; four nephews; extended family and many friends.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made either to Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (8177 West Glades Road, Suite 208, Boca Raton, FL 33434), the OSU Foundation (P.O. Box 1749, Stillwater, OK 74076) or the charity of your choice.

Funeral services for M. B. Seretean will be held Monday, August 20, 2007, at 10:00 am, at Temple Beth El, 333 SW 4th Avenue, Boca Raton, FL 33432.

Arrangements are by Gutterman Warheit Memorial Chapel, 7240 North Federal Highway, Boca Raton, FL 33487.

Last Updated on Friday, 17 August 2007 09:44