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Muskingum University Alumnus and Trustee Board Chair Hal Burlingame Inducted into OFIC Hall of Excellence

HAROLD BURLINGAMEMuskingum University alumnus and Chair of the Board of Trustees Hal Burlingame has been inducted into the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges (OFIC) Hall of Excellence. The induction took place at the organization’s Evening of Excellence banquet in Columbus the evening of April 10.

Hal Burlingame is an icon in the human resources profession, recognized internationally for his revolutionary corporate workplace initiatives now considered employee recruitment and retention “best practices.”  During his nearly 40 years with AT&T, he pioneered policies and programs for child care, elder support, and sabbatical leaves that were soon adopted by employers worldwide.  Executive Vice President of Human Resources during the transition from Bell Telephone, he led AT&T’s Corporate Policy Initiative, preparing senior executives for monumental changes, and, during years of restructuring, led a national process with more than one million employees.  He is now a highly-sought consultant on workforce and workplace development issues and is a coach of choice for CEOs.

"His commitment to improving the lives of others extends beyond his profession: he has shaped Muskingum University and the future of its students and alumni in profound ways,” said Muskingum University President Dr. Anne C. Steele.  “As a trustee since 1985 and Chair of the Board since 1994, his highly effective leadership, stewardship and personal commitment has advanced the ideals of private higher education and motivated others to follow his example.”

In 2007 Mr. Burlingame was named a Distinguished Fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources, his profession’s highest honor.  He has received numerous awards for the innovative human resources programs he created during the transformation from Bell Telephone System to AT&Tand was recognized by the United States Department of Labor.  His public relations and communications work has often been honored by national professional organizations, and he has received four Emmy Awards and an Academy Award for his work on AT&T communications programs, which include “Live from Lincoln Center.” 

While a student, Mr. Burlingame founded the campus radio station WMCO, which continues to provide learning opportunities for students via radio, TV, and internet.  His commitment to creating new opportunities for students and faculty has led to the establishment of programs such as Muskingum’s first funded student-faculty research collaborative, an international student teaching program, and student-faculty-research partnerships with local assets such as The Wilds.

His interest in and support of the university did not end with graduation.  He has served on the Board of Trustees since 1985 and as Chair since 1994, leading the university through dramatic growth in enrollment, programs, fundraising and campus construction.   Additionally, he is the principal benefactor of the Burlingame Communications Center and the Burlingame Recital Hall.