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Back on Campus - Alumni Weekend

June 18, 2008

CEO Agenda

During Drexel University's annual Blue and Gold Days Alumni Weekend, LeBow College of Business presented the CEO Agenda Research and formally unveiled the new Business and Engineering (formerly Commerce and Engineering) curriculum. It was great to see so many members of The LeBow Network come back to visit with friends and learn about the latest happenings at the College.

The CEO Agenda presentation, which took place May 1, featured a panel discussion with CEOs from some of the region's top companies offering candid comments and insightful opinions on the rapidly changing nature of business. These panelists included: Renee Amoore, president and CEO, The Amoore Group; Nicholas DeBenedictis '68, '69, Hon. '87, chairman and CEO, Aqua America; Dominic Frederico, president and CEO, Assured Guaranty, Ltd.; Raj L. Gupta '72, chairman, president and CEO, Rohm and Haas; and Jeffrey Orleans '70, chairman and CEO, Orleans Homebuilders.

The CEO Agenda research study addresses the myriad of internal and external challenges facing today's CEOs, which are among the most complex that executives have had to face. Technology, globalization, governance and many other issues place unforeseen pressures on how CEOs will successfully establish and execute their plans for growth. The CEO Agenda researchers are distinguished LeBow College faculty members V.K. Narayanan, Ph.D., Stubbs Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship and Associate Dean for Research; Bert Rosenbloom, Ph.D., Rauth Chair Professor of Marketing Management; Jeffrey Greenhaus, Ph.D., William A. Mackie Professor of Management; and Rolph Anderson, Ph.D., Royal H. Gibson Senior Chair Professor of Marketing.

On May 2, the College offered alumni an insightful look into the new Business and Engineering curriculum. Dr. Darrell Radson presented the nuts and bolts of the new curriculum, and a Business and Engineering alumni panel discussed their career paths. The panel included Brad Barry'68, '72, Peter J. Schied '66, '77, Ann M. Mcnally '67, Joseph B. Peters '85, Andrea P. Tsapralis '85, Bernard McNamee '84, Debbie (Yeomans) Kuch '93, '04, and Richard Handschumacher '43, '50. Alumni and faculty accomplishments were also highlighted at this event.

Spring Big Exchange

At the LeBow College of Business Spring Big Exchange, students, alumni and friends heard from an alumnus who is actually encouraged to clown around at work. Tom Burgoyne '88, "a friend of the Phanatic" for 20 years, spoke about "The Business of Fun" at the event, held May 14 at Citizens Bank Park. Burgoyne said that his marketing degree really does come in handy in his job as the Phillie Phanatic - he has three backups, but Burgoyne does all of the games - because being the Phanatic is about being excited about a product, and that's central to effective marketing.

Burgoyne recalled a funny story about how he became the Phanatic. Less than a year after graduation, Burgoyne was searching for a job in a Sunday edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer. First, he turned to "S," looking for a job in sales. Then, he turned to "M" for marketing - but noticed an ad for a mascot. "I thought, 'Oh, that could be funny,'" Burgoyne said. He applied - and even had to dance without the costume in front of a panel during his audition. They hired him as a backup "friend of the Phanatic."

When asked about his parents' opinion of his use of a marketing degree, he joked, "I think they feel that they didn't waste their money completely." He says he actually landed the interview and audition with a resume full of Drexel co-ops.

Burgoyne says that after all these years in his job as a friend of the Phanatic, he is still having fun. He also revealed a perhaps little-known fact - at least many attendees didn't seem to know this - the Phanatic is actually a bird.

A two-hour networking reception followed the discussion, and then alumni and friends attended the Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves game that evening.

For a listing of all LeBow College events, please visit

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