The Fox School honored William A. “Bill” Graham IV as the recipient of the Musser Award for Excellence in Leadership, the highest honor conferred by the School, during a Nov. 5 dinner and reception. Graham is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of The Graham Company, a privately held and leading U.S. insurance and surety brokerage and consulting firm considered one of the largest in the nation based on revenue size.
The evening paid homage to Graham and one of his lifelong loves — pigs. Graham, whose office is decorated with pig paraphernalia, is said to hold the animal in high regard because of its intelligence.
Graham received a plush pig toy, along with Musser Award winner’s customary crystal owl statuette, from Dean M. Moshe Porat and Warren V. “Pete” Musser upon reaching the podium to deliver his acceptance remarks.
CNBC anchor Tyler Mathisen, the event’s master of ceremonies, playfully addressed attendees in Pig Latin to kick off the evening. On stage, a safety inspector appeared and gave Mathisen an ultimatum about ensuring the safety of a nearby handrail — a play on Graham’s line of work. “Yes, Mr. Inspector. We’ll get right on that — when pigs fly,” Mathisen said, as a toy pig soared across Mitten Hall’s Great Court. A live potbelly pig, named Valentino, also made his way onto the stage to the crowd’s delight.
Also recognized at the recep- tion were: Dr. MB Sarkar, H.F. Gerry Lenfest Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Excellence in Teaching); Dr. Anthony Di Benedetto, Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management (Excellence in Research); Dr. TL Hill, Associate Professor of Strategic Management (Excellence in Faculty Service); Dr. Rajan Chandran, Fox School Deputy Dean (Excellence in Administrative Service); Silas C. Adams, FOX ’15 (Excellence in Student Leadership); and James J. Dornan, FOX ’85 (Excellence in Alumni Achievement).
Said Kenneth Ewell, the President and Chief Operations Officer of The Graham Company: “Bill Graham is the kind of man everyone wants to work for because he leads by example. I don’t think the Fox School of Business could have chosen a better-suited recipient for the Musser Award.”
Maybe when pigs fly.