Lerner Alumni Honored With Awards
The University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics honored distinguished alumni Vance A. Funk III, Ping Xu and Arlene Hogan at the 2014 Alumni Awards of Excellence ceremony and reception held on Friday, June 6, in the Lerner Hall Atrium.
During the ceremony, winners discussed the varied challenges and successes of their careers, and how their experiences at UD helped them to realize their goals.
“I ended up in the business school by accident,” said Funk, who is former mayor of Newark. “I was a pre-med major who happened to have a grandfather and a father who were medical doctors. At the end of my second year they kicked me out because it turned out I was allergic to formaldehyde.”
Ping Xu earned his master of business administration in 1999, as well as his master of science in marine policy. He is a full-time, award-winning real estate agent, certified financial planner and certified court interpreter.
Born and raised in a small apartment in Shanghai, Xu credits his family with encouraging him to pursue higher education.
“My parents, who were factory workers who had no education, they raised me so that I would go to college,” said Xu. “I’m very grateful to this University and also very grateful to all the people surrounding me.”
Xu is a current board member at the Delaware Chinese American Association as well as the Chinese American Community Center. He also, along with his brother, advises the Chinese Students and Scholars Association at UD.
“When I was at Delaware, there weren’t very many women in the business college,” said Hogan. “So it’s been a great joy throughout my career to mentor women and all really talented candidates.”
Hogan has worked in a number of positions for State Farm Insurance, including vice president of both the Mid-Atlantic and Heartland zones and senior vice president of the Pacific Northwest zone. She is currently the senior vice president in charge of Auto and Fire Claims, a role she assumed in 2013.
Hogan credits her time at UD for providing skills that she would use as a mentor and manager throughout her career.
John Rittenhouse, a 1980 UD graduate in accounting, was also named as an award recipient but was unable to attend Friday’s celebration and will be honored during next year’s ceremony.
Bruce Weber, dean of the Lerner College, praised the honorees as examples of what UD alumni can accomplish.
“What you saw tonight were three remarkable people who have really taken what this institution has to offer, which has enabled them to take their lives in a direction where they gave back so much more than the University of Delaware put in at the beginning,” said Weber.