December 12, 2012

Phillip Catchings Awarded Presidential Medal by SUNY Empire State College

Ann Turner, Phil Catchings and Meg Benke. Benke and Turner present citation for presidential medal to Catchings

Left to right: Foundation Board President Ann Turner, presidential medal recipient Phillip Catchings, Acting President Meg Benke

‌(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y – Dec. 12, 2012) Phillip Catchings, immediate past president of the Empire State College Foundation Board of Directors, was presented with the Presidential Medal, the highest award the college bestows, for his outstanding leadership of the foundation board of directors.

Catchings first joined the board in the fall of 2004 and was named chairman Oct. 23, 2009. As chairman, Catchings led the board during the peak of the global financial crisis. By working diligently together, the members of the board, college administration and foundation staff increased the college’s endowment by 25 percent.

During the three years he led the board, the foundation provided nearly $2.7 million in support to the college; of that amount, $1.7 million directly supported student scholarships. Ninety-four percent of scholarship recipients either have graduated or are actively pursuing their degree.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the college’s foundation recently made $50,000 available to the college’s students for emergency education grants of up to $500 to help students continue their education.

“Phil is one of the savviest consultants I have ever come across and he is totally committed to whatever he sets his mind to do,” said long-time board member Robert Thrasher. “His collegial personality works well with the academic community. Phil brings groups together and leads through consensus-building to find workable solutions to problems, which is a rare quality. The college foundation is much stronger thanks to his leadership.”

“Phil Catchings chaired the board during periods of significant investment in student success and helped to ensure the foundation’s financial assets are managed most effectively,” said Acting President Meg Benke.

“Serving the foundation board as chairman was an honor and a privilege,” said Catchings. “These are not my accomplishments alone, they are the accomplishments of the board and a talented and hard-working staff.”

Succeeding Catchings is Ann S. Turner, a marketing executive with Agro-Farma, makers of Chobani Yogurt.

About Phillip Catchings

Catchings is a retired senior vice president of the Boston Consulting Group, a worldwide business consulting group. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and his MBA from Harvard University.

About the Presidential Medal

The highest award the college bestows, the Presidential Medal recognizes outstanding career achievement, scholarly excellence, leadership in the professions, noteworthy public service or humanitarian endeavors, societal impacts, innovation, courage, character and ability to inspire students.

The medal is an occasional award.  Nominations are made by the college community at any time. The award is given on appropriate occasions in the life of the college. While the award is meant primarily to recognize external contributors, nominations of current or former employees also may be considered.

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