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Former UC President Warren G. Bennis to Receive Honorary Doctorate from UC

Bennis is credited with leading UC’s transformation into a major research-oriented comprehensive university.

Date: 5/22/2007 12:00:00 AM
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823

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Warren G. Bennis, a worldwide authority on leadership and transformation, will receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the University of Cincinnati Commencement Ceremony at 2:30 p.m., Saturday, June 9, in Fifth Third Arena at Shoemaker Center.

Warren G. Bennis

Bennis is University Professor and Distinguished Professor of Business Administration and Founding Chairman of The Leadership Institute at the University of Southern California. He also serves as the Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University’s Kennedy School and is the Thomas S. Murphy Distinguished Research Fellow at the Harvard Business School. He is a Visiting Professor of Leadership at the University of Exeter and a Senior Fellow at UCLA’s School of Public Policy and Social Research.

Bennis served as president of the University of Cincinnati from 1971 to 1977, transforming an essentially municipal university into a major comprehensive, research-oriented university. At a critical time following the turbulent ’60s, Bennis is credited with building understanding and tolerance among many diverse points of view.

Bennis’ research on leadership, change and creative collaboration are widely studied around the world. He has served as a consultant for numerous Fortune 500 companies and has advised four U.S. presidents. The author of 27 books, his book of essays, An Invented Life: Reflections on Leadership and Change, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and his best-selling Leaders (named one of the top 50 business books of all-time by the Financial Times) and On Becoming a Leader have both been translated into 21 different languages.

A World War II veteran, Bennis, at the age of 20, was the one of the youngest infantry commanders fighting in Germany and was decorated with the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. After the war, he received his bachelor of arts in psychology and business from Antioch College in 1951, an honors certificate from the London School of Economics in 1952 and a PhD in social sciences and economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1955.

His career in higher education includes service on the faculty at MIT, where he was also chairman of the Organizational Studies Department; provost and executive vice president of SUNY-Buffalo; and professor of business administration at the Marshall School of Business at USC, where he was founding chairman of The Leadership Institute for the USC School of Business.

Bennis continues to work as an author, speaker and consultant on issues of leadership and change and has authored or co-authored five books since 2004.