Alumnus and Trustee Robert W. Patin, Jr. Presents Baccalaureate Sermon
The sermon for this year’s baccalaureate service, held on May 5, was delivered by Robert W. Patin, Jr., a College alumnus and member of its Board of Trustees, who is the retired chief executive officer of CNA Life and the CNA Healthcare and Benefits Division of CNA Financial Corporation
Patin’s professional and personal achievements were recognized with an honorary doctor of humane letters degree, which was presented during undergraduate commencement exercises.
His sermon, titled Aristotle Must Have Been a Muskie, centered on the teachings of the ancient Greek philosopher as they apply to life in the modern world. He told the students, “Happiness comes from being whole. It’s not philosophy that teaches life, it’s life that teaches philosophy. The most powerful force in life is love, in the form of selfless promotion of the common good. I invite you to impact the world for the good, with your spirituality and your love.”
A native of Pittsburgh, Patin earned his bachelor of arts from Muskingum in 1964 and began his career with Connecticut General Life Insurance Company. Over the course of his career in the insurance industry, he has served as president of Puritan Life Insurance Company, president of Insurance Operations for GE Capital Corporation, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Washington National Corporation, and president and chief executive officer of the CNA Life and Group Operations of the CNA Insurance Companies.
As the president and chief operating officer of Big Idea Productions, the creators of the internationally-acclaimed Veggie Tales, he demonstrated his commitment to the development of the moral character of our youth, nurturing the important principles of moral leadership.
A dedicated Muskingum supporter, Patin has served the College as a member of the Board of Trustees for more than 12 years. He is also a member of the Executive Committee and co-chair of “The Long Magenta Line: The Campaign for Muskingum.”
Patin has actively devoted his time, energy and expertise to numerous civic, health and educational organizations, including the Board of Advisors of the Kellogg Graduate School of Northwestern University, the Board of Trustees of Junior Achievement of Chicago and as a co-founder of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Hartford.