News Release from AASCU


Contact: Caitlin Reilly (202) 478-4665


AASCU Honors Accomplished Lehman College – City University of New York Graduate

Washington, D.C. – Ivan Seidenberg, former Chairman and CEO of Verizon Communications, has been named the 2013 recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award (DAA) presented by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). He will receive his award today (October 21) at the association’s annual meeting scheduled for October 21-23 in Los Angeles.

Aimed at directing national attention to the value of society’s investment in state colleges and universities, the Distinguished Alumnus Award is presented to an individual, known nationally or internationally, who has made a significant contribution to the public, intellectual or cultural life of the nation. Seidenberg, an important influencer in the world of telecommunications, holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Lehman College – City University of New York. He also earned an MBA from Pace University.

Seidenberg served as Chairman and CEO of Verizon Communications, Inc. until his retirement in 2011. He had held senior leadership positions at Verizon since its inception in 2000. As CEO, Seidenberg transformed Verizon into a premier global network company by building a nationwide wireless network, deploying high-speed fiber broadband direct to homes, and expanding Verizon’s global Internet backbone network around the world. Seidenberg began his career in telecommunications more than 40 years ago as a cable splicer’s assistant at the New York Telephone Company.

As a recognized expert in telecommunications, Seidenberg has advised two U.S. presidents. In 2007, President George W. Bush appointed him to the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee, on which he still serves. President Barack Obama has also honored Seidenberg by appointing him to the President’s Export Council.

Seidenberg has also donated his time and leadership to several other organizations. From 2009 to 2011 he chaired the Business Roundtable, an influential association of CEOs of leading U.S. companies. He is a member of the New York Academy of Sciences President’s Council. He serves on the board of trustees of the New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York Hall of Science, Pace University and the Paley Center for Media. Additionally, he holds a position on the Board of Directors of BlackRock Inc.

The Distinguished Alumnus Award was first presented in 1972. Seidenberg joins a list of past honorees that include former Secretary of State General Colin L. Powell (City College of the City University of New York), noted Civil Rights attorney and educator Julius Chambers (North Carolina Central University), Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts (Southeastern Louisiana), Gertrude Belle Elion, biochemist and 1988 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Medicine (City University of New York, Hunter College), and author Amy Tan (San Jose State University). Nominees must be a graduate of an AASCU member institution and be nominated by a president or chancellor.


AASCU is a Washington-based higher education association of more than 400 public colleges, universities and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development.