Citigroup’s Parsons Speaks at Kossoff Lecture Series at Baruch College
Baruch College, under the able leadership of President Mitchel Wallerstein, holds the prestigious annual Kosoff Lecture Series, named after alumnus Burton Kosoff and endowed by his wife, Phyllis L. Kosoff in 2003. Recently Citigroup Board Chairman Richard D. Parsons spoke to an overflow crowd of business leaders, students and faculty as part of the Burton Kossoff Business Leadership Lecture Series. Parsons participated in a conversation moderated by David Birdsell, Dean of the School of Public Affairs, at Baruch College.
Parsons is a Senior Advisor at Providence Equity Partners, Inc., a leading private equity investment firm specializing in media, communications and information companies. He is also Chairman of the Board of Citigroup, Inc. Prior to serving in those roles, Parsons was the Chairman of the Board and CEO of Time Warner, Inc., the world’s largest media and entertainment company, from 2002 to 2008. In its January 2005 report on America’s Best CEOs, Institutional Investor magazine named Parsons the top CEO in the entertainment industry. In 2008, Parsons served as a member of then President-Elect Barack Obama’s Economic Transition Team. His other civic and non-profit commitments include Chairman Emeritus of the Partnership for New York City; Chairman of the Apollo Theatre Foundation and of the Jazz Foundation of America, and service on the boards of the Museum of Modern Art and the American Museum of Natural History. Parsons is also a member of the boards of the Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. and Madison Square Garden, Inc.
Phyllis L. Kossoff created the Burton Kossoff Business Leadership Lecture Series in August 2003 in memory of her beloved husband and his commitment to his alma mater. Each year, the lecture series invites prominent business leaders to share their perspectives on the most pressing issues in business. Mr. Burton Kossoff ’46, was a graduate of Baruch College and an inaugural member of the Baruch College Fund, serving as a trustee from 1970 to 1990. As a Baruch student, Mr. Kossoff was a member of the Sigma Alpha and Beta Gamma Sigma business honor society, a member of the Spanish Club, Vice president of the Veterans Club, a staff member of The Ticker college newspaper and the Lexicon yearbook. During his tenure on the Board of Trustees, he served as secretary and as a member of the Executive and Minority Business committees. In 1946, Kossoff received Baruch’s prestigious Monroe D. Franklin Award to a returning veteran, in recognition of his scholarship, integrity and heroic service to his country. Mr. Kossoff was committed to public service, also serving in leadership roles with the Young Presidents Organization and Business Men’s Club of the YMCA, the American Legion, New York Athletic Club, Inner City Handball Association, Temple Emmanu-El, and Park Avenue Synagogue.
When Parsons was asked what the optimal age at which to start learning about finances was, he immediately replied, elementary school. He recalled vividly the bankbook he had as a second grader and how he had saved dimes and quarters each week until, by the end of sixth grade, he had saved the seeming fortune of ninety-six dollars.#