Awarded to an alumnus or alumna whose professional accomplishments and achievements are exceptionally noteworthy and distinctive in his/her profession.
Truly one of the world's leading entrepreneurs, Ken Langone graduated from Bucknell with a degree in economics and chose to continue his studies at New York University, earning a master's degree in business administration in 1960.
As an undergraduate at Bucknell, he was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity, the Sociology Club, Philosophy Club, R.O.T.C. Pershing Rifles, House of Representatives, Christian Association, Politics Club, and Booster Club. He also was active with the Bucknellian, Touche, and intramurals.
His business career began in 1957 when he accepted a position as an analyst for the Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States. In 1962, he became an associate of R. W. Pressprich & Company, a brokerage firm in New York City. Notably, it was during this time that he took Ross Perot's company, Electronic Data Systems, public at 118 times earnings, a record value for a new issue. His success at that endeavor earned him the top job at Pressprich, serving as president and chief operating officer from 1969-74.
In '74, he founded Invemed Associates, Inc., a New York brokerage and investment-banking firm. With his remarkable business acumen, he saw another opportunity in 1978 and co-founded Home Depot. Now the nation's largest and, according to Fortune Magazine, America's most admired do-it-yourself retailer, Home Depot's sales will top $12 billion this year with approximately 80,000 employees.
In addition to serving on the board of AutoFinance Group, Inc., Baby Superstore, Inc., GMIS, Inc., The Home Depot, Inc., St. Jude Medical, Inc., and Unifi, Inc., he also is chairman and chief executive officer of Sale Nationalease Corporation and a member of the Board of Overseers at NYU's Stern School of Business. His charitable activities include serving on the boards of the Children's Oncology Society of New York and the Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Research Fund. Closer to Bucknell, he also serves on the board of the Geisinger Foundation of Danville.
As an alumnus, he has assisted Bucknell in a variety of different venues. In addition to being one of the university's preeminent benefactors, he has served as chair of the National Committee on Annual Giving and as a host for many Bucknell functions. His current role as a member of the Bucknell Board of Trustees signifies his ongoing commitment to assisting the university in achieving national prominence.