Joe Plumeri Honored with 2016 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award

Joe Plumeri (William & Mary, Gamma '64) receives Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award.
Joe Plumeri 2016 DAA

Joe Plumeri (William & Mary, Gamma '64) addresses Pikes at the 2016 Convention.

MEMPHIS, TN - At the 2016 International Convention, Joseph J. Plumeri (William and Mary, Gamma '64) was awarded the Judge Elbert P. Tuttle Distinguished Achievement Award. Established in 1936, the Distinguished Achievement Award is presented annually to the alumnus member who has achieved the most distinguished resume in his vocation, profession or field of public service. It is named after Elbert P. Tuttle (Cornell, Beta Theta ’17), a veteran who served in both World Wars, then as Chief Justice of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals from 1961-68, and as a Senior Justice until his death in 1996. Under Tuttle’s leadership, the Fifth Circuit became recognized as a leader in the fight against segregation.

Plumeri is vice chairman of the First Data board of directors and former CEO of Willis Group, Citibank North America, and Primerica. Since joining First Data, he has played a pivotal role in the company’s transformation from a transaction processor to a payments technology company and solutions provider to merchants and financial institutions.

Prior to joining First Data, Plumeri served as chairman and CEO of Willis Group Holdings PLC. Among his notable milestones while at Willis, in addition to an extraordinary return to public ownership, was his public leadership against conflicts of interest in the insurance industry, and striking the deal changing the name of the Sears Tower to the Willis Tower in Chicago.

Before joining Willis, Plumeri had a 32-year career at Citigroup and its predecessor companies. As CEO of Citibank North America, he led the integration of the consumer businesses at Citicorp and Travelers Group. He also served as chairman and CEO of Travelers Primerica Financial Services, vice chairman of the Travelers Group, and president and managing partner of Shearson Lehman Brothers. A widely admired leader in the insurance industry, Plumeri was named to Treasury & Risk magazine’s list of “100 Most Influential People in Finance” in 2009 and 2010. He was also recognized by St. John’s University School of Risk Management as Insurance Leader of the Year in 2006.

Plumeri is a generous philanthropist; an avid sportsman and baseball entrepreneur; and a national best-selling author. He serves on the boards of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse; Mount Sinai Medical Center; the Jackie Robinson Foundation; and the Churchill Museum at the Cabinet War Rooms in London.

Plumeri is an owner of the Trenton Thunder, the AA-affiliate of the New York Yankees; and the Lakewood Blue Claws, the A-affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. In 2015, he published his first book, The Power of Being Yourself: A Game Plan for Success – by Putting Passion into Your Life and Work. Based on his life experiences, he offers simple yet profound guidance on how to stay positive, motivate yourself and others, and achieve success in your life and work. All of the author’s proceeds from the book are donated to the Make-A-Wish© Foundation and the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.

Most recently, Plumeri committed $5 million to create the Joe Plumeri Center for Social Justice and Economic Opportunity at New York Law School (NYLS). The center will allow aspiring law students to provide critically needed law services to those who would otherwise be unable to afford it.

Plumeri received his bachelor of arts in history and education from the College of William and Mary, and attended New York Law School. In 2011, William and Mary awarded him an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service in honor of his philanthropic endeavors, where he delivered a speech to the 2011 graduates – “Go Play in Traffic (and Follow the Signs Along the Road)” – which was hailed by the New York Times as one of the best speeches of the year. National Public Radio ranked his speech among the “Best Commencement Speeches, Ever” joining 350 other speakers going back to 1774. In 2015, NYLS awarded him an honorary law degree and his speech was rated one of the best of the year by

The Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity is proud to honor Joseph J. Plumeri with the 2016 Judge Elbert P. Tuttle Distinguished Achievement Award.

Plumeri joins the ranks of these recent past recipients:

2016 – Joseph J. Plumeri (William and Mary, Gamma ’64); Vice Chairman of First Data Board of Directors

2015 – R. Andrew Miller (Florida State, Delta Lambda ’70); President & CEO, Seminole Boosters Inc.

2014 – Ivor J. “Ike” Evans (Kansas State, Alpha Omega ’61); retired President & COO of Union Pacific Railroad

2013 – Joe T. Ford (Arkansas, Alpha Zeta ’57); Partner, Westrock Capital; Former CEO, Alltel

2013 - Kenneth W. Lowe (North Carolina, Tau ’70); Chairman, President & CEO, Scripps Networks

2012 – Jon L. Kyl (Arizona, Gamma Delta ’61); U.S. Senator from Arizona

2011 – G. Brint Ryan (North Texas, Epsilon Delta ’83); Chairman & CEO, Ryan

2010 – Edward S. Hyman Jr. (Texas, Beta Mu ’65); Chairman & Founder of International Strategy & Investment (ISI)

2009 – R. Scott Van Pelt (Maryland, Delta Psi ’88); Anchor and Correspondent, ESPN

2008 – Raymond L. Orians (Memphis, Delta Zeta ’66); Executive Vice President Emeritus, Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity

2007 – Pete Sessions (Southwestern, Alpha Omicron ’76); U.S. Congressman, Texas

2006 – Edward A. Pease (Indiana, Delta Xi ’71); Senior Vice President, Government Relations, Rolls Royce North America, Inc.

2005 – B. Kevin Turner (East Central, Epsilon Omega ’85); COO, Microsoft Corporation

2004 – Charles O. “Chad” Holliday (Tennessee, Zeta ’67); Chairman & CEO, DuPont

2003 – Neal L. Patterson (Oklahoma State, Gamma Chi ’68); Chairman & CEO, Cerner Corporation

2002 – Tim McGraw (Louisiana-Monroe, Eta Omicron ’86); Country Music Artist


The Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity was founded at the University of Virginia in 1868 and has grown to an international brotherhood composed of more than 270,000 members, 220 chapters and 150 alumni associations. Pi Kappa Alpha has maintained the largest average chapter size of any inter/national fraternity for most of the past 20 years, and through its members has donated millions of hours and dollars to philanthropic causes and community organizations across North America. Pi Kappa Alpha’s mission is to “develop men of integrity, intellect, and high moral character and to fostering a truly lifelong fraternal experience.”

For more information contact the Pi Kappa Alpha Foundation at (901) 748-1948 or