Join Us for a Conversation with Angela Edmunds

(Photo Courtesy: Lisa Le)

(Photo Courtesy: Lisa Le)

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Patrick Kelly and Innovative Leaders to be Honored During The Verizon Philadelphia University Celebration of Innovation


The Verizon Philadelphia University Celebration of Innovation includes the Annual Fashion Show and Benefit Gala.

Philadelphia University will posthumously award celebrated designer Patrick Kelly with the Legend of Design Award at the Philadelphia University Fashion Show on Sunday, April 27 at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, as part of an extraordinary weekend of festivities that make up The Verizon Philadelphia University Celebration of Innovation.

At the Benefit Gala on Saturday, April 26, the Leader of Innovation Medal will be presented to five accomplished leaders—Karen Daroff, William A. Finn ’67, Estefano Isaias Sr. ’69, Christopher McHugh ’86 and Former Governor of Pennsylvania Edward G. Rendell.  The Benefit Gala will take place at 6 p.m. in the Hyatt at The Bellevue in Philadelphia.

The talent and creativity of Philadelphia University students will be on display throughout the weekend’s festivities. The annual Fashion Show showcases the best of each year’s fabulous, colorful and creative student fashion designs. Innovative student projects across a variety of disciplines will be on display at the Benefit Gala.

“Philadelphia University is where innovation happens,” said President Stephen Spinelli Jr. “Our community of students, faculty, alumni and supporters includes those with keenly innovative minds that support our vision and growth.  We are proud to recognize this year’s honorees and leaders across a wide range of disciplines, as well as our outstanding students and faculty who exemplify the values of innovation and leadership.”

Philadelphia University Annual Fashion Show

Philadelphia University will posthumously award celebrated designer Patrick Kelly with the Legend of Design Award at the Fashion Show on April 27, the same day a new exhibition, “Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love,” will open at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  The exhibition, the first major retrospective of Kelly’s work, will feature an expansive showcase of some eighty of the designer’s ensembles.

In 1988, the late designer became the first American and first black designer voted into the prestigious French fashion industry association Chambre Syndicale du Prêt-à-Porter des Couturiers et des Créateurs de Mode.  Kelly, who passed away in January 1990 from complications of AIDS, was known for his bright and bold creations that drew inspiration from his African American and Southern roots, his knowledge of fashion and art history, and the club and gay cultural scenes in New York and Paris.  His work often pushed racial and cultural boundaries.

“Patrick Kelly’s bold colors, playful aesthetic and voguing runway shows continue to inspire today’s designers,” said Dilys Blum, Jack M. and Annette Y. Friedland senior curator of costume and textiles for the Philadelphia Museum of Art and organizer of the exhibition.  “A new generation of designers will be introduced to Patrick Kelly through this exhibition and the Legend of Design Award that will be bestowed upon him at the Philadelphia University Fashion Show.”

The Fashion Show, which is produced by Philadelphia University fashion design and fashion merchandising and management students, attracts an audience of some 2,000 students and their families, faculty members, designers and fashion and apparel industry professionals.

Philadelphia University Benefit Gala

At the Benefit Gala the evening before, Leader of Innovation Medals will be presented to five outstanding leaders who have made significant contributions across many fields that better society and shine a light on the impact of innovation all around us.  They are:

  • Karen Daroff, president and design principal of Daroff Design Inc., is recognized globally for her commitment to design excellence. Daroff is celebrated for her diverse achievements in corporate headquarters, aviation, institutional and museum design.
  • William A. Finn ’67 is the chairman of AstenJohnson Inc., where he previously served as president and CEO.  With business in more than 50 countries, AstenJohnson is a leader in the global paper industry.
  • Estefano Isaias Sr. ’69, director of Pacific Cable Television Inc., is a longtime leader in the telecommunications industry, previously serving as the chairman of TC Television in Ecuador.
  • Christopher McHugh ’86 is the vice chairman, senior portfolio manager and founder of Turner Investment Partners Inc., an investment accounts management company based in Berwyn, Pa.
  • Edward G. Rendell is a former two-term governor of Pennsylvania and two-term mayor of Philadelphia.  Rendell currently serves as a news analyst for NBC and practices law as a special counsel at Ballard Spahr, LLP, specializing in public-private partnerships and housing, with an emphasis on infrastructure.

The Benefit Gala also will showcase the outstanding results of Philadelphia University’s unique Nexus Learning approach to higher education.  The year’s best innovations from students and faculty will be on display at the Gala, demonstrating the success of a Philadelphia University education that’s active, collaborative, connected to the real world and infused with the liberal arts.

For tickets to the Philadelphia University Fashion Show and Benefit Gala, visit

“Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love” will be on display through Nov. 30, 2014. For more information on the Philadelphia Museum of Art exhibit, visit

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Students Walk to Raise Money for the American Cancer Society at Relay For Life


Students walk laps in the Gallagher Athletic Center at Relay For Life.

Philadelphia University’s Colleges Against Cancer chapter raised $22,250 for the American Cancer Society at the University’s sixth consecutive Relay For Life on April 4.

Over 400 PhilaU students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members attended the event where participants walked laps overnight in the Gallagher Athletic Center to symbolize that the fight against cancer never sleeps.

“I am overwhelmed by the amount of support the PhilaU community has given us,” said Coady Parks, interior design senior and Colleges Against Cancer campus chapter president.

PhilaU’s Colleges Against Cancer chapter will continue fundraising efforts until the end of August. By then, the student group aims to beat last year’s fundraising total of $31,000.

PhilaU has raised over $185,000 for the American Cancer Society since 2009.

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Academy of Municipal Innovation Nominated for State Innovation of the Year

The Academy of Municipal Innovation, a collaboration between Philadelphia University and the City of Philadelphia to foster innovation in city employees, has been nominated to receive the 2014 StateScoop 50 State Innovation of the Year Award. To vote for the Academy of Municipal Innovation, click here.

The 2014 StateScoop 50 awards honor the best innovations that make state government more efficient and effective. Voting ends April 18. The winner will be announced May 8.

To read more about the Academy of Municipal Innovation, click here.

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SEED Center Recognized for LEED® Gold Certification


Attending the SEED Center’s plaque ceremony was (left to right) Janet Milkman, executive director of DVGBC, Rob Fleming, M.S. in Sustainable Design program director, and Tom Becker, associate vice president for operations.

Philadelphia University’s Center for Sustainability, Energy Efficiency and Design was recognized for its accomplishment of LEED® gold certification at a plaque ceremony on campus April 11.

Janet Milkman, executive director of Delaware Valley Green Building Council, helped commemorate the success. “We think it’s really wonderful what you’ve accomplished here,” Milkman said, adding that PhilaU “has graduated the leaders of green building in our region.”


The SEED Center is LEED® gold certified.

“The University is proud to have our initial LEED® building reach gold standard,” said Tom Becker, PhilaU associate vice president for operations. “It sets the bar for other buildings going forward.”

The SEED Center features more than 14,000 square feet of gray-to-green renovated space. It originally received its gold certification from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) and the U.S. Green Building Council in 2012.

The SEED Center is home to PhilaU’s graduate programs in sustainable design, construction management, interior architecture and real estate development, and also serves as a regional resource for architects, engineers, builders and developers by offering training in sustainable building design strategies and green product and material integration.

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Philadelphia University hosts international workshop on luxury retail operations and supply-chain management: The Philadelphia Inquirer

More than two dozen academics presented papers at the Third International Workshop on Luxury Retail Operations and Supply-Chain Management at Philadelphia University, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on April 16.

Marie-Eve Faust, assistant professor of fashion merchandising and management, and Marcia Weiss, textile design program director, were featured in the article for their leadership in assembling the two-day seminar.

Topics of discussion at the conference varied from the recycling of high-end Scottish textile remnants to a comparison of international anti-counterfeit laws.

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Celebrity Style: Coachella

(Photo Courtesy: Hollywood Life)

(Photo Courtesy: Hollywood Life)

For those of you who don’t know, Coachella is an outdoor music and arts festival held over the second and third weekends of April annually since ‘99 in Indio, California.  A number of artists, actors, and reality stars made an appearance this year including Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Selena Gomez, Jared Leto, and Paris Hilton to name a few.  All were dressed in boho chic attire; perfect for the California desert environment they were in.  Fanny packs, crop tops, and excessive body jewelry were most commonly seen. We’re eager to see if any of the Coachella street style fashions make their way to summer ’14 street style in California.

(Lindsay Beckman: Blogger)

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Author and Journalist Jeffrey Selingo Will Give 2014 Commencement Address


Jeffrey Selingo, prominent higher education author, journalist and speaker, will give the 2014 Philadelphia University Commencement address.

Jeffrey J. Selingo, prominent higher education author, journalist and speaker, will address the Class of 2014 at Philadelphia University’s 130th Commencement on Saturday, May 17, at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts.

At the ceremony, Selingo will be awarded the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters.

Throughout his respected career, Selingo has held a variety of positions giving him a unique and complex view of higher education. Selingo is a contributing editor at The Chronicle of Higher Education, where he previously served as editor and editor-at-large. He is the author of “College (Un)Bound: The Future of Higher Education and What It Means for Students,” published in 2013. He is a professor of practice at Arizona State University and appears regularly on national radio and television programs.

Selingo’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and The Huffington Post. His work has received awards from the Education Writers Association, Society of Professional Journalists and the Associated Press.

“Jeff Selingo’s belief in disrupting the traditional higher education model and discussing innovative ways to improve the experience for both students and institutions aligns perfectly with Philadelphia University’s own mission,” said President Stephen Spinelli Jr. “He is an important and distinctive leader who is helping to shape collegiate education in the 21st century, and I’m delighted that he will give the Commencement address for the Class of 2014.”

Selingo received his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ithaca College and a master’s in government from The Johns Hopkins University.

More than 750 undergraduate and graduate students will receive diplomas at the 2014 Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 17, at 11 a.m. at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia.

For more information about the ceremonies, directions and parking, tickets and accommodations, please visit

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PhilaU students are tailors to the ‘stars’ with spacesuit designs for NASA: Metro

The PhilaU student collaboration with ILC Dover on the design of three new spacesuits for NASA was featured in a front-page story in Metro on April 14. Fashion design seniors Cassandra Burr and Gabriela Canosa, engineering senior Julia Mayer and engineering professor Muthu Govindaraj were featured in the article.

“It was really different talking to (NASA designers) because they think totally different from us,” Burr said. “They’re more technology, and we’re more about the customer and how we speak to the customer and so it was different translating our goals into their goals.”

The public can vote on their favorite design concept until April 15, and NASA will announce the winner later this month.

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Interior Design Program Receives Six-Year CIDA Re-Accreditation

Philadelphia University’s B.S. in Interior Design program has earned another six-year accreditation from the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA). The interior design program is now accredited until 2020.

In its Summary of Accreditation Decision, CIDA said its decision was based on the program’s demonstrated achievement of sixteen accreditation standards that address the preparation of graduates for interior design practice.

Those standards include critical thinking, professional values and processes that provide the framework of interior design practice, as well as the mission, goals and curriculum of the program. Core design and technical knowledge providing historical, theoretical and technical contents of interior design practice were considered along with program administration standards.

CIDA said the re-accreditation confirms the quality of PhilaU’s interior design program, thus assuring employers the program has prepared graduates with the skills and knowledge required to practice interior design.

Philadelphia University’s interior design program was ranked tenth in the nation in DesignIntelligence’s 2014 survey of hiring firms to determine which schools best prepare students for professional success. Read more.

“These achievements, along with numerous student competition wins and great job placements of our upcoming graduates, have made this a very good year for PhilaU’s interior design program,” said Lauren Baumbach, interior design program director.

To learn more about the program, click here.

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