Trustee Jon Boscia
When Jon Boscia sees the progress being made at Temple, his perspective is different than that of most trustees. Boscia grew up in western Pennsylvania and is a relative newcomer to Philadelphia.a And after serving for three years on the Board of Trustees, he is encouraged with what he has seen at the University.
“I have been impressed with the way in which Temple has balanced its historical access expectations with its desire to move to global prominence in so many fields of study,” he said.
“The board has been very conscientious about striking that balance.”
Boscia knows about global prominence. He holds the posts of chairman and CEO of Lincoln Financial Group, one of the city’s most prominent corporations and a world leader in financial services.
As the head of Lincoln Financial Group, his family of companies is known around the world as a leading provider of annuities, life insurance, 401(k) and 403(b) plans, college savings plans, mutual funds, managed accounts, institutional investment and financial planning and advisory services. Last year, Lincoln Financial posted more than $110 billion in combined assets, and annual revenue of more than $5 billion. Its companies employ 5,600 people worldwide.
There are parallels between the Lincoln and Temple experience. Just as President David Adamany has responsibility for a broad range of academic experiences in campuses that span the region and the globe, Boscia oversees the progress of diverse businesses, with an eye toward making them both more successful and better-known.
In fact, it was Adamany who first introduced Boscia to Temple. The two were involved in the Greater Philadelphia First Foundation, one of several community boards that Boscia serves.
“I was impressed with David Adamany’s innovative way of approaching things. That led to us talking about a whole host of education issues, both on the secondary and postsecondary level,” Boscia said. “After a while, he asked me if I would be interested in serving on Temple’s board, and I agreed.”
As a board member for about three years, Boscia has seen at close range the transition that has been taking place at Temple. The recent hiring of prominent faculty, renovation or construction of facilities, an enhanced emphasis on research and a general expectation of higher standards across the board has meant that Temple is an academically strong institution that is attracting talented students from a broad region.
Boscia’s own education is based in western Pennsylvania, where he was born. He has a bachelor’s degree and an honorary doctor of human letters degree from Point Park College and a master of business administration degree from Duquesne University, both in Pittsburgh. And his career has featured leading positions at Pittsburgh’s major corporations, including Westinghouse Credit Corp. and Mellon Bank.
He joined Lincoln Financial Group through one of its divisions, Lincoln National Pension, in 1983. For the next 21 years, he took on roles of increasing responsibility, including chief executive officer in 1998 and chair of the board of directors in 2001.
With Boscia’s leadership has also come a higher profile for Lincoln Financial. One of his early challenges was moving the company’s headquarters from Indiana to Philadelphia. The company has had a Philadelphia presence for decades, but when Boscia moved the headquarters here about six years ago, he recognized a need to build greater awareness in the city.
Perhaps the most prominent part of that effort was the naming of the Philadelphia Eagles’ new stadium as Lincoln Financial Field. “The Linc” is also where Temple’s football team plays its home games.
Boscia has swiftly become integrated into the city’s cultural and civic community. He is a member of the board of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Philadelphia Police Foundation and the Union League of Philadelphia. He says he has come to appreciate the strengths of the city and its residents. “I have found the people here to be genuine, friendly and very kind-hearted,” he said.
As a trustee, Boscia also wants Temple to be better recognized — especially among Philadelphia’s business community — for its advances in quality education.
“Temple’s reputation has not caught up with its reality,” Boscia said. “Temple is a more high-powered institution than most people realize.”
- By Ray Betzner