Ken Klaer’s journey through Georgia Tech not only shaped his career but also led to a lifelong connection that began within the Institute’s vibrant community.

It was during his time at Georgia Tech that Ken first crossed paths with his future wife, Marie, at the Chi Phi fraternity house. Their relationship blossomed amidst the backdrop of football games and shared academic pursuits, laying the foundation for a love story that has endured over four decades.

Klaer, IE 1981, is chair of the ISyE Advisory Board, executive vice president of Comcast Cable, and president of Comcast Technology Solutions. He shared some recollections about his on-campus romance with Marie.

Q: How did you first connect with your Georgia Tech "love"? 

A: We first crossed paths at the Chi Phi fraternity house where Marie held the title of sweetheart and was dating an older fraternity brother. 

Q: Can you share a memorable moment that defines your relationship within the Georgia Tech community? 

A: One significant memory stands out when I managed to secure flash card seats, convincing Marie to join me at a Jackets football game. These seats were prime, right on the 50-yard line, the envy of every student. Initially hesitant, Marie reluctantly agreed, thinking of it as just a friendly outing. But as they say, the rest is history. 

Q: In what ways has this connection positively impacted your Georgia Tech experience or life journey? 

A: Our bond formed at Georgia Tech has been the cornerstone of our lives. Celebrating 43+ years of marriage, we cherish the memories of falling in love during our time at GT. Without this connection, our paths might never have crossed. 

Q: Are there any unique or quirky aspects of your relationship that you'd like to highlight? 

A: I happily admit to marrying someone much smarter than myself—Marie's academic achievements certainly surpassed mine. Her guidance and proactive nature redirected my career path during our college days. Despite having accepted a job in the auto parts industry, a call from Scientific-Atlanta prompted Marie to encourage me to reconsider. This decision led me into a fulfilling career in the telecommunications sector. 

Q: What advice would you give to others seeking meaningful connections within the Georgia Tech community? 

A: Our advice echoes the principle of paying it forward. Georgia Tech provided the foundation for much of our success, and we strive to stay connected and involved. Serving on advisory boards and participating in mentorship programs like MentIE allows us to contribute while continuing to learn and grow. 


IE Ramblin' Companions is a captivating Q&A series created by Nat M. Esparza showcasing the love stories of couples who discovered their special connection within the world of Industrial Engineering at Georgia Tech. Through insightful interviews, personal anecdotes and candid conversations it illuminates the diverse paths and heartfelt experiences of these couples, celebrating the intersection of love and academia in the Institute's community. 

Author: Nat M. Esparza 

The Klaer's