CEOs return to campus to lead discussion on Steinmetz Day


Left to right: President Harris, Richard Templeton’80, Devin Wenig’88 and James Loree ’80. Photo by Daniel Wilcox.

Daniel Wilcox, News Editor

The 29 Steinmetz Symposium on Friday, May 10 ended with a discussion with three alumni from Fortune 500 companies. CEO President and Chairman of Texas Instruments Richard Templeton ’80, CEO and President of Stanley Black and Decker James Loree ’80 and CEO and President of eBay Devin Wenig ’88 spoke to students, faculty and other visitors about their experiences at Union and in their careers so far.

The 19 President of the College David R. Harris acted as the moderator for the evening talk. Beginning the talk, Sarah Taha ’19 introduced the three alumni, as well as Taha, a biomedical engineering major who had interned with Stanley Black and Decker the previous summer had received an offer of full-time employment after her graduation. Taha was also the first student to meet Harris.

With the crowd gathered in the newly-built Stanley O’Brien Center ’74, Harris guided the guests through a variety of questions regarding everything from why they had attended Union in the first place to the qualities that make a good leader in today’s evolving work environment. All of the panellists answered the questions with humor and knowledge, with the audience hooked on every anecdote and word of advice that was given.

Each alumnus spoke of how their time at Union had directly impacted their ability in the workplace and gave them the opportunities and experiences that aided them in their lives. Although they also noted that their time at Union taught them the importance of diversity and acceptance in their companies in order to guarantee success.

Templeton had graduated from Union with a degree in electrical engineering. Loree graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in economics, whilst also graduating summa cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Loree additionally serves on the Union Board of Trustees. Meanwhile, Wenig had graduated with a bachelor of arts in political science before going on to gain a law degree from Columbia University Law School. The three alumni had spent the day touring the campus with Harris and viewing some of the projects being showcased during the day.

After the main talk, attendees were invited to ask questions to the panellists, with Alex Appel ’20 asking whether the men had experienced constructive engagement when they were at Union. The group replied that it was important for a company to be open-minded and welcoming of diversity in all forms.

A follow up comment to Appel was spoken by Union graduate and the Global Head of Real Estate Partnerships at WeWork. Sarah Pontius ’04. Pontius welcomed Appel asking a question as the only woman to do so and went on to offer Appel an internship at her company over the summer break.

Speaking to Wenig afterwards about why he believed that it was important to come back to the Union campus, he noted that he had “got a lot from the College” and was happy to “give back a little bit.” Meanwhile, Loree noted that he “loves this institution” and felt that “this was a very simple and impactful way to make a difference.”

other people thought they were always awkward and out of place. At the end of the discussion, however, the group seemed to come to the consensus that, while humor is inherently subjective, it’s something that can, indeed, be shared with others.