Scott A. Belair graduated summa cum laude from Lehigh University with a bachelor of science degree in economics and earned a master of business administration degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Finance in 1971. He is also a certified public accountant. While at Lehigh, he was a member of the fraternity Psi Upsilon.
Completing an entrepreneurial workshop project during graduate school, Scott turned the idea into reality and co-founded with Lehigh classmate and roommate Richard “Dick” Hayne ’69 ’12P the Free People Store in Philadelphia, which later developed into the retail store Urban Outfitters. Scott remains on the board of directors of the company that also operates under the Anthropologie, Free People, Terrain, and BHLDN brands. Pursuing other positions throughout his career, he was vice president and CFO of the international offices and subsidiaries of Goldman Sachs and was a principal and corporate bond trader at Morgan Stanley. He also served as managing director of Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc. and, later, as president of Balfour Maclaine Corporation. In 1989, he founded the ZAC Group and is principal of the financial consulting firm. His wife, Bayne, worked as the apparel buyer and head of merchandising and public relations for the Urban Outfitters Corporation for 12 years.
Actively involved as a Lehigh alumnus, Scott is a member of the Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation’s Advisory Council; returns to campus as a class lecturer; is involved with the Parents’ Council; and is a past member of the College of Business and Economics Advisory Council and the Lehigh Entrepreneurs Network. Believing in the importance of the entrepreneurship program at the university, he mentors Lehigh students and provides feedback and advice on their project ideas. He also serves as a judge for the EUREKA! Ventures Competition Series, an annual competition that helps Lehigh student innovators explore and promote their entrepreneurial thinking.
Attributing a lot of what he was able to accomplish in the business world to his education at Lehigh, he has generously given back so students can achieve the same opportunity. As an undergraduate, he was involved in programs that were very out of the ordinary for Lehigh at the time, such as writing a book and creating economic models alongside faculty and graduate students in the Econometrics Lab. Grateful for those real-life experiences, he was inspired to support the Mountaintop Initiative to provide the same unique opportunity for students to have a similar type of learning environment. His principal gift is helping to renovate two former Bethlehem Steel research facilities that, since 2013, have provided open space and work areas for students to let loose their imaginations to conduct research and develop all natures of projects. The Belairs are members of the top giving societies at Lehigh University — the Tower Society and the Asa Packer Society.
In 2012, Scott and Bayne were honored by the Ridgewood YMCA for their outstanding service to the organization and the community. In addition, Bayne volunteers for the Children's Aid and Family Services and The Promise Foundation. The Belairs have three children, Zachary ’13, Laura ’13, and Wade ’18, and live in New Jersey.