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Thomas J. Volpe Lecture Series

Charles D. Smith Jr., the Head of Sports and Entertainment for MediaCom, a global communications and marketing firm, will deliver this year's Thomas J. Volpe Lecture.

Charles D. Smith Jr., the Head of Sports and Entertainment for MediaCom

The Volpe Lecture Series is designed to prepare St. Francis College students to create new opportunities in a world affected by ever-changing cultural and economic pressures. It stresses the importance of being sensitive to vastly different cultures and the way those cultures influence social, legal, political and economic forces at play across the globe.

Smith is a former NBA player and U.S. Olympian who has become a proven business executive and entrepreneur. A unique hybrid of both a serial and classic entrepreneur, Smith possesses the ability to consistently generate executable ideas within a business and uses his personal brand and business acumen within the day to day operations to accelerate the business.

His education hails from the University of Pittsburgh where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts. Charles pursued an MBA at Seton Hall University. where he received extensive training and applicable skills for his varied business interests. Furthering his education, Charles completed an entrepreneurial program at Stanford University and has taught entrepreneurial classes at the Learning Annex in New York City.

Volpe Lecture Series Speakers

Click the links for stories, videos and photos of speakers.

 2018 - Alvin Irby, M.S., MPA - (Founder and a Chief Reading Inspirer at Barbershop Books)

2018 - Dambisa Moyo - (Why Economics Matters)

2017 - Sonia Sotomayor (U.S. Supreme Court Justice) / Vince Marmorale & Vince DeGiaimo (My Italian Secret: Forgotten Heroes of the Holocaust)

2016 - Glenn Adamson (Museum of Art & Design) / Jeffery Beers (Jeffrey Beers International)

2015 - Becky Hammon (NBA San Antonio Spurs) / Steve Hindy (Brooklyn Brewery)

2014 - Jerry Greenfield (Ben & Jerry's)

2013 - Neil DeGrasse Tyson (Cosmos, Museum of Natural History)

2012 - Frank Bruni (New York Times, Born Round)

2012 - Pete Hamill (Snow in August, A Drinking Life)

2011 - E.L. Doctorow (Ragtime, Billy Bathgate)

2008-09 - Sir Salman Rushdie (Midnight's Children)

2007-08 - Mariane Pearl (A Mighty Heart)

2006 - Andrea Mitchell (NBC News)

2005- Paul Rusesabagina (The Real Hero of Hotel Rawanda)

2004- Mary Robinson (Former President of Ireland)

2003- Felix Rohatyn (Former Ambassador, Chairman of the Municipal Assistance Corporation (MAC) of the State of New York)

2002- Lech Walesa (Former President of Poland)

2001- Oscar Arias (Former President of Costa Rica)

2000- George Mitchell (Former U.S. Senator, Nobel Peace Prize Winner)

1998- Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. (Historian, Pultizer Prize Winner, Former Presidental Speech Writer)

1997 - Caspar Weinberger (Former Secretary of Defense)

About Thomas J. Volpe

Thomas J. Volpe, the former Senior Vice President of Financial Operations for The Interpublic Group of Companies and Chairman Emeritus of the St. Francis College Board of Trustees, is also the founder and benefactor of the prestigious Thomas J. Volpe Lecture Series, which is designed to further expand the horizons of SFC students by introducing them to world-renowned speakers from the arenas of politics, literature, journalism, business and entertainment.

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After graduating from Brooklyn College in 1957, Tom earned his MBA in marketing and finance from Baruch College. After working for Deloitte Haskins & Sells, he joined Colgate Palmolive Company where he held a series of international positions before becoming Vice President and Treasurer in 1981. In 1986, Tom joined The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. He served as director of several public companies and currently with private equity investments.

Throughout his career, Thomas has always found the time to be involved with civic and community affairs. Tom also serves as a board member for Englewood Hospital in New Jersey and Urban Glass in Brooklyn. He is former president of the New York Chapter of Financial Executives International. St. Francis College presented Tom with an honorary doctorate degree of Commercial Sciences in 1997.

Tom and his wife, Anita, live in New York City and New Jersey. They have three children, seven granddaughters and one grandson.

Volpe Lecture Series Videos