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SEC Chairman Speaks at Drexel LeBow Commencement Ceremony

June 13, 2011

Nearly 1,000 students officially became graduates at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business 2011 Commencement Ceremony, held Saturday, June 11 at the Daskalakis Athletic Center. Drexel LeBow conferred 522 undergraduate degrees 426 graduate degrees, and nine doctoral degrees.

Mary L. Schapiro, chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and Joseph A. Frick, former president and CEO of Independence Blue Cross, received honorary degrees during the ceremony.

Schapiro served as the event’s keynote speaker. She advised graduates to hold on to their own vision even when they become part of a larger team during their careers. “I find, as chairman of the SEC, that many of the business ethics problems severe enough to be investigated are the result less of individual greed than of individuals succumbing to pressure from their peers,” she says.

“With the skills that brought you to Drexel and the excellent education you have received, I am confident that you will receive reliable advice from the only person who will always be there when the tough decisions are made: You.” (Read Schapiro’s remarks in their entirety)

Frick also addressed the graduates, telling them to put people first. “Products, services, capabilities, and businesses all change, but galvanizing the energy, talent and spirit of those we work with has always been and always will be the key ingredient for success and reputation,” he says.

He also advised students to “stay true to your moral compass,” adding, “Reputation is built through a lifelong commitment to excellence, values, character and integrity.” (Read Frick’s remarks in their entirety)

Schapiro was appointed to her post by President Barack Obama and is the first woman to serve as the agency’s permanent chairperson.  Prior to becoming SEC chairwoman, she was CEO of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the largest non-governmental regulator for securities firms doing business with the U.S. public, and she served as chairwoman and CEO of the National Association of Securities Dealers. Schapiro previously served as a commissioner of the SEC from 1988 to 1994. She was appointed by President Ronald Reagan, reappointed by President George H.W. Bush in 1989 and named acting chairman by President Bill Clinton in 1993. She left the SEC when President Clinton appointed her chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, where she served until 1996.

Frick joined Diversified Search, an executive search firm headquartered in Philadelphia, as vice chairman and managing partner in May 2011. Diversified is the largest woman-founded and -owned executive search firm in the United States and is recog­nized for delivering high-quality consultative senior-level execu­tive search services and corporate board searches. The firm’s clients range from the world’s largest companies and private equity firms to smaller family-owned enterprises and not-for-profits. Previously, Frick was president and chief executive officer of Independence Blue Cross; he retired from that company in December 2010 after serving nearly six years as CEO and 18 years overall. He is currently a vice chairman of the Independence Blue Cross board of directors.

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