November 06, 2014, BY Kathryn Kopchik

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James Nevels '74James Nevels will give the talk, "The Path from a Liberal Arts Education to Success," Monday, Nov. 17, at 7:30 p.m. in the Gallery Theatre of the Elaine Langone Center at Bucknell University.

The talk, which is free and open to the public, is the inaugural talk in the Phi Beta Kappa Lecture Series.

The series is initiated by Bucknell's chapter of Phi Beta Kappa to promote the organization's values — a commitment to the liberal arts and sciences, freedom of inquiry and expression, intellectual integrity, and tolerance for other views.

A 1974 alumnus of Bucknell, Nevels is chairman of The Swarthmore Group, an investment advisory firm which he founded in 1991, as well as chairman of The Hershey Company Board of Directors. He has more than 34 years experience in the securities and investment industry.

Nevels will speak about how the broad-based, liberal arts education he pursued as an undergraduate at Bucknell has impacted his professional and personal success.

In 2001, the Governor of Pennsylvania appointed him chairman of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission to oversee the turnaround of the financially distressed Philadelphia School System, then the ninth largest school district in the United States. He served as chairman until 2007. 

Nevels was appointed by President Bush to the Advisory Committee to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and served a three-year term including two years as chairman. He also has served as a board member of Tasty Baking Company, the Gettysburg Foundation, Bucknell University, Berea College, St. Joseph's University, the Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities, the Board of Visitors for Temple University-Fox School of Business and Management, the Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the Advisory Board of Drexel University, LeBow College of Business, Baiada Center.

He is a member of the Board of the Hershey Trust Company and Milton Hershey School, chair and member of the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, and board member of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, MeadWestvaco, MMG Insurance Company, The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, the Pro Football Hall of Fame and corporate member of the Orange Bowl Committee. In addition, he serves as Member of Council and Chair of the Nominations Committee of The Pennsylvania Society.

Nevels is an honors (cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa) graduate of Bucknell and holds an A.B. degree in Political Science and Philosophy, an M.B.A. degree from The Wharton School, the University of Pennsylvania, and a J.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He has also received four honorary degrees.