Temple University’s Fox School of Business celebrated Governor Edward G. Rendell with the 2018 Musser Award for Excellence in Leadership, the highest honor conferred by the School, during a Nov. 14 dinner and reception at Mitten Hall. This year’s event marked the 22ndanniversary of the award ceremony, which has honored a number of leading businesspeople in Philadelphia since its launch in 1997.
The evening recognized Rendell’s 34-year career of public service, including his time served as governor of Pennsylvania from 2003–2011 and mayor of Philadelphia from 1992–2000, and celebrated his lasting influence on the city and state the Fox School of Business has called home since its founding in 1918.
“For a century, the Fox School has been plugged into the city of Philadelphia, with students and alumni taking advantage of and benefitting from the personal and professional opportunities it offers,” said Dr. Ronald Anderson, interim dean of the Fox School. “The leadership of Governor Rendell and his strategic investments in our communities, the economy and education make the Fox School’s location in Philadelphia an attractive place to live, to study and to work, and we are proud to honor him.”
In accepting the Musser Award, Rendell, who currently serves as special counsel at Ballard Spahr, LLP, spoke on his continued commitment to the city and his special focus on alleviating the high poverty rate in Philadelphia, which is ranked as the poorest of the country’s largest cities, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. He offered recommendations on how to reduce poverty in the city, calling on business leaders to hire extra students looking to work this summer, increase minimum wage and donate to pre-k programs, among other tips.
Rendell also discussed the legacy of Warren V. “Pete” Musser, the namesake of the evening’s event, whom Rendell called “one of the greatest businesspersons and philanthropists in town,” and the impact the Fox School has made on the business world and society in the region: “Think of all the Fox School has done for the city of Philadelphia and the state of Pennsylvania and how many jobs have been created because the Fox School exists. Think about what this region would be like if the Fox School never existed. Think about it and be proud.”
Tyler Mathisen, the managing editor of CNBC Business News and co-host of CNBC’s Power Lunch, once again served as the event’s master of ceremonies. Mathisen commented on the uniqueness of this year’s event — taking place during the Fox School’s Centennial anniversary — and recognized the School’s century-long heritage of innovation within business education.
The event also paid homage to Rendell’s love for Philadelphia sports, especially the Philadelphia Eagles, featuring green décor and a “LOVE” statue made of plants, and his affection for dogs, with special guests Temple Police Officer Lawrence Besa and his retired canine partner Jarvis presenting Rendell with the Musser Award.
Past top honorees in attendance included Warren V. “Pete” Musser, William J. Avery, Joan Carter, Steven H. Korman and James E. Nevels, and Temple Trustees Dennis J. Alter, Joseph F. Coradino, Mitchell L. Morgan, Chair Patrick J. O’Connor and Jane Scaccetti.
“Governor Rendell’s leadership created an atmosphere in Philadelphia where students and alumni of Temple University and the Fox School of Business can start new businesses, produce new jobs and be successful. Thank you, Governor Ed Rendell, for all you’ve done to create a city where Temple University can thrive,” said O’Connor, who is serving his 10thand final term as chair of the Board of Trustees.
The Fox School also celebrated faculty, staff, alumni and students worthy of distinction with the following prestigious awards:
- Excellence in Teaching: Michael Valenza, associate professor and chair, Department of Legal Studies
- Excellence in Research: Dr. Xueming Luo, Charles E. Gilliland, Jr. Chair Professor of Marketing, Strategy and MIS; founder and director, Global Center on Big Data in Mobile Analytics
- Excellence in Faculty Service: Dr. Steven Balsam, professor of accounting and Senior Merves Research Fellow, Department of Accounting
- Excellence in Administrative Service: Julian White, senior director, Center for Undergraduate Advising
- Excellence in Student Leadership: Suchetha Subramaniam, FOX ’18, Future Leaders Program, GSK
- Excellence in Alumni Achievement: Adam Lyons, FOX ’09, founder and chairman, The Zebra