Muskingum University held its Charter Convocation on August 25 in the Recreation Center on the campus. The event, which was Muskingum’s first as a university, featured an address by 1962 alumnus and Board of Trustees Chair Harold W. Burlingame.
Harold W. (Hal) Burlingame ’62 has created an eminent legacy of global leadership and service. In 2004, he was named a Distinguished Fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources, receiving the highest recognition of his profession. Only nine other individuals have been so honored, including two United States Secretaries of Labor.
As Executive Vice President of AT&T, Hal played a seminal leadership role in the historic transformation of the Bell System from a collection of regulated monopoly organizations into a competitive player in the burgeoning global telecommunications marketplace. He joined Ohio Bell in 1962 and in 1977 became the director of AT&T’s corporate policy initiative, helping prepare senior executives for the seismic industry shifts that were on the horizon.
During the 1982 Bell System dismantling and the demanding years that followed, he led the communication process with hundreds of key officials and more than one million employees. His innovative programs guided the human dimensions of this unprecedented structural change, creating a constructive “workplace for the future” and furthering AT&T’s goals of attaining a world-class, diverse workforce. Among the many legacies of his forty-year AT&T career are his recruiting and retention initiatives, including then-novel corporate programs for child-care, elder support, and sabbatical leave. Since retiring, he has continued to share his expertise as an executive coach of choice for CEOs and other senior executives.
Hal serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of ORC Worldwide, on the National Advisory Board of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, and on the Board of Directors of eCornell, the distance learning subsidiary of Cornell University.
Since 1994, Hal has served Muskingum as our Chair of the Board of Trustees. He has been recognized for his tremendous impact upon the lives of others with a Doctor of Humane Letters degree and an Alumni Distinguished Service Award.
During his undergraduate years, Hal founded WMCO, the Muskingum radio station. He and his wife Susanne (Sue) Hussey Burlingame ’63 reside in Chatham, New Jersey, and are the parents of Marjie Burlingame Hancock ’91 and Betsy Burlingame Wood. A true Muskingum legacy family, the Burlingames are linked in The Long Magenta Line to many family members, including their mothers Martha Elizabeth Pickens Hussey ’32 and Elsie Wagner Burlingame ’60.