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Gerard H. “Jerry” Sweeney, of Brandywine Realty Trust, holds his crystal owl statuette as the recipient of the 2016 Musser Award for Excellence in Leadership.
Gerard H. “Jerry” Sweeney, of Brandywine Realty Trust, holds his crystal owl statuette as the recipient of the 2016 Musser Award for Excellence in Leadership.

A short drive to the boardwalk taught Gerard H. “Jerry” Sweeney a lifelong lesson about professional drive.

As a child, Sweeney would walk two miles of boardwalk planks in Wildwood, N.J., until he had secured a job for the summer. And only then would Sweeney’s father provide a ride home.

“I have found that persistence defines us, motivates us, and relentlessly pushes us forward,” said Sweeney, who received the 2016 Musser Award for Excellence in Leadership.

Temple University’s Fox School of Business honored Sweeney as the recipient of the Musser Award, the highest honor conferred by the School, during a Nov. 16 dinner and reception at Mitten Hall. This year’s event marked the 20th anniversary of the award ceremony, which has recognized a litany of Philadelphia’s leading businesspeople.

Fox School of Business faculty, staff, and alumni recipients of the 2016 Musser Award gather on the stage. (Ryan S. Brandenberg/Temple University Photography)
Fox School of Business faculty, staff, and alumni recipients of the 2016 Musser Award gather on the stage. (Ryan S. Brandenberg/Temple University Photography)

The evening paid homage to Sweeney, who is President, Chief Executive Officer, and Trustee of Brandywine Realty Trust, which develops, builds, and manages the nation’s leading Class A office and mixed-use properties. He has overseen the growth of Brandywine Realty Trust from four properties and a total market capitalization of less than $5 million to more than 33 million square feet and a total market capitalization of close to $5 billion.

“Jerry is a fresh-thinking, innovative leader who is helping to elevate Philadelphia’s reputation into the upper echelon of the world’s greatest cities,” said Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School. “His commitments to community, civic change, and professional leadership are unmatched, and we are proud to honor him.”

CNBC anchor Tyler Mathisen presides as master of ceremonies of the 2016 Musser Award for Excellence in Leadership dinner. (Ryan S. Brandenberg/Temple University Photography)
CNBC anchor Tyler Mathisen presides as master of ceremonies of the 2016 Musser Award for Excellence in Leadership dinner. (Ryan S. Brandenberg/Temple University Photography)

Sweeney is credited for coining the term “vertical neighborhood,” which has been used to describe the 50-story FMC Tower at Cira Centre South and its premier amenities.

“Our true legacy is not in the money we make or the buildings we build,” Sweeney said, upon accepting the Musser Award. “Our legacy is in how many lives we touch, how many smiles we make, and how much cheer we bring.”

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. He introduced attendees to one of Sweeney’s earliest business ventures, when he developed a business plan to sell rabbits as a fourth-grader. Mathisen then welcomed to the stage a rabbit named Tony, from Philadelphia’s Morris Animal Refuge.

“He’s yours to take home, Jerry, if you’d like to reestablish your first business conquest,” Mathisen said, jokingly.

The Musser Awards dinner and reception gathers Philadelphia’s leading business executives under one roof. Past top honorees in attendance included Warren V. “Pete” Musser, Robert Fox, and Steven Korman, and Temple trustees Dennis Alter, Chairman Patrick J. O’Conner, and Daniel H. Polett.

Also recognized at the reception were:

  • Excellence in Teaching: Dr. Pallavi Chitturi, Research Professor of Statistical Science
  • Excellence in Research: Dr. William W.S. Wei, Professor of Statistical Science
  • Excellence in Faculty Service: Martin Doyle, Assistant Professor of Management Information Systems
  • Excellence in Administrative Service: Dr. Janis Moore Campbell, Director of Graduate Professional Development
  • Excellence in Student Leadership: Ancy Thomas, FOX ‘15
  • Excellence in Alumni Achievement: Daniel Conway, FOX ‘87
Dean M. Moshe Porat, left, and Warren V. “Pete” Musser, right, greet 2016 Musser Award recipient Gerard H. “Jerry” Sweeney. (Ryan S. Brandenberg/Temple University Photography)
Dean M. Moshe Porat, left, and Warren V. “Pete” Musser, right, greet 2016 Musser Award recipient Gerard H. “Jerry” Sweeney. (Ryan S. Brandenberg/Temple University Photography)

O’Connor called Sweeney “a one-of-a-kind businessman, community servant, and leader. The Fox School of Business could not have chosen a more-deserving honoree for this 20th anniversary event.”

Sweeney credited his success to his supportive professional colleagues and loving family.

“The only limit on our capacity to dream and grow are those that are self-imposed,” said Sweeney, who credited his success to supportive colleagues and his loving family. “And to achieve this recognition from the Fox School, the vanguard of Philadelphia’s renaissance, is truly special.”

Jerry SweeneyTemple University’s Fox School of Business will award Gerard “Jerry” H. Sweeney the 2016 Musser Award for Excellence in Leadership – the school’s highest honor, for outstanding achievement, leadership, and commitment to the community by a distinguished member of industry.

Sweeney will be honored at the 20th annual Musser Award reception and dinner Nov. 16, 2016, in Mitten Hall, on Temple University’s Main Campus.

Sweeney is President, Chief Executive Officer, and Trustee of Brandywine Realty Trust, which develops, builds, and manages the nation’s leading Class A office and mixed-use properties. He has held these roles since the company’s founding in 1994. He has overseen the growth of Brandywine, from four properties and a total market capitalization of less than $5 million to more than 33 million square feet and a total market capitalization of close to $5 billion.

“Jerry Sweeney has overseen Brandywine Realty Trust from its infancy through to today. He is directly responsible for helping the company flourish into a leader in the real estate industry,” said Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School of Business. “This year marks an anniversary. For two decades, we have honored distinguished business professionals with the Musser Award for Excellence in Leadership, and Jerry certainly fits that description.”

His previous industry experience includes serving as vice president of LCOR, Inc., a real estate development firm, from 1983-94. He was responsible for the marketing, management, construction, asset management, and financial oversight of a diversified portfolio of urban high-rise, mid-rise, flex, warehouse, and distribution facilities, as well as retail and apartment complexes.

Sweeney received a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from West Chester University.

A few of the previous Musser Award winners include the late Lewis Katz, former director of the Katz Foundation; Steven H. Korman, founder of Korman Communities; Joan Carter, co-founder and president of UM Holdings Ltd.; the late Ralph J. Roberts, founder of Comcast; Stephen A. Cozen and Patrick J. O’Connor, of Cozen-O’Connor; H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest, president and CEO of The Lenfest Group; and Dennis Alter, former chairman and CEO of Advanta Corp.

For sponsorship and reservation information, contact Amy Gurreri, Assistant Director of Special Events and Facilities, at 215-204-4889 or amy.gurreri@temple.edu.

Musser Awards | November 11, 2015| Temple Now

November 30, 2015 //

Graham receives Fox School’s Musser Award
Temple University recapped this month’s Musser Awards dinner and reception, and top honoree William A. “Bill” Graham, within the university-wide newsletter, Temple Now.

Photo of William A. "Bill" Graham IV
William A. “Bill” Graham IV, recipient of the 2015 Musser Award for Excellence in Leadership

Temple University’s Fox School of Business will award William A. “Bill” Graham IV the 2015 Musser Award for Excellence in Leadership – the school’s highest honor, for outstanding achievement, leadership, and commitment to the community by a distinguished member of industry.

Graham will be honored at the 19th annual Musser Award reception and dinner Nov. 5, 2015, in Mitten Hall, on Temple University’s Main Campus.

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 company provides property and casualty products, employee benefits, and surety bonds for an elite client base.

“Bill Graham helped build a family business into a recognized and respected brand. He’s a giant in the insurance and risk management industries,” said Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School of Business. “For nearly two decades, we have honored distinguished business professionals with the Musser Award for Excellence in Leadership, and Bill certainly fits that description.”

Graham has been a member of the Philadelphia business community for more than 50 years.

He joined his father’s insurance agency as a sales representative in 1962, eventually becoming the sole owner in 1972. He served as president from 1970 to 1999, and currently serves as chairman and chief executive officer. He has overseen the growth of The Graham Company, from six employees with revenues of $300,000 in 1972, to more than 160 employees and revenues exceeded $40 million.

Graham is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of Bucknell University, and is on the Boards of Directors of Xanitos, Inc.; Adhezion Biomedical, LLC; and Aspire Bariatrics, LLC. He also serves on the Advisory Board of Guest Counts Hospitality.

He is an alumnus of Bucknell University and the William Penn Charter School.

Previous Musser Award winners include Lewis Katz, director of the Katz Foundation; Steven H. Korman, founder of Korman Communities; Joan Carter, co-founder and president of UM Holdings Ltd.; Ralph J. Roberts, founder of Comcast; Stephen A. Cozen and Patrick J. O’Connor, of Cozen-O’Connor; H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest, president and CEO of The Lenfest Group; and Dennis Alter, former chairman and CEO of Advanta Corp.

For sponsorship and reservation information, contact Amy Gurreri, Assistant Director of Special Events and Facilities, at 215-204-4889 or amy.gurreri@temple.edu.