OVER 100 STUDENTS RECEIVE DEGREES
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BRANDYWINE GRADUATES GET A LESSON IN SUCCESS FROM THE GROUND UP
Sometimes the most successful people are those who work their way from the ground up. With the current economic climate, what better way to introduce Penn State Brandywine’s graduating class of summer and fall 2008 than through the eyes of someone who knows how to do just that?
Shortly after graduating from Penn State, Jerry Parsons and several family members began a small business in their garage in West Chester, only to find themselves at the head of an international telecommunications service provider with more than 4,000 employees in 39 locations worldwide today.
Parsons, of Chester Springs, sent more than 100 graduates off into the real world as the ceremony’s keynote speaker on Friday, Dec. 19 in the Commons/Athletic Center gymnasium. During his remarks, Parsons mentioned the pride he carries with him each day as a member of the first freshman class to enter Penn State Brandywine (then Delaware County) in January of 1971. Two years later, he earned an associate’s degree from the campus and in 1974 received a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from the Harrisburg Capital campus.
Parsons’ advice to graduates: work hard and always dream for something bigger and better because as was the case for him, one day it might be theirs.
In 1975 Parsons joined his father, Donald Parsons, in founding Communications Test Design, Inc. In 1987, Parsons became president and CEO of CTDI and has since led the company through the dynamic telecom landscape with an unwavering commitment to strategic diversification, technological innovation, and service quality. In 2006, he assumed the role of Chairman and CEO and as a result of his innovative business strategies CTDI is now recognized as a premier service provider and strategic partner in the global telecom service arena. Parsons continues to position CTDI as a leading global service company within the industry.
But Parsons’ influence goes beyond the telecom industry as he is actively involved in several community and civic organizations. He currently serves as chairman for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Board of Education and serves on numerous committees within the Board of Education. He has been instrumental in the planning and development of two new, state-of-the-art high schools in Montgomery and Bucks Counties slated to open in September 2010 and 2012, respectively.
In 2004, the National Catholic Educational Association awarded Parsons the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award and the Papal Honor of Sir Gregory the Great for his personal devotion to Catholic education. He is a member of the Board of Directors for United Way of Chester County and was awarded the Chairman’s Award for outstanding community impact. Additionally, Parsons was inducted into the Chester County Business Hall of Fame, is a founding member of the Board of Directors at Stonebridge Bank, and is a member of the Fairfield University School of Engineering Advisory Board.
And the list goes on.
The graduating class of summer and fall 2008 is sure to take with them more than a few helpful hints about the real world from this outstanding fellow Penn Stater.
The faculty, staff, and advisory board of the campus offer hearty congratulations and best wishes to all the men and women of the summer and fall 2008 graduating classes and their families..
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