The Boundless Generosity of Richard Greenawalt ’66
Over the years, Richard Greenawalt’s generosity to Drexel University has been extraordinary. In just this last year, he pledged $100,000 to support the Harold W. Pote Behind Every Graduate Award Fund, pledged another $100,000 for unrestricted use, gave $10,000 to athletics, and has promised $1,000,000 for scholarships.
He has also given generously of his time, serving now as Chairman of the Board of Trustees and previously as Vice Chair for Drexel University’s and the College of Medicine’s Boards of Trustees. A member of the Franklin Institute’s Board and that of the Free Library of Philadelphia, Greenawalt also belongs to the esteemed Drexel 100 and was responsible for bringing the Greenawalt Student Development Activity Center to life. In addition, he is a recipient of the Anthony J. Drexel Paul Award, Drexel’s highest alumni honor.
With typical modesty, Greenawalt downplays his generosity and involvement, and defers to his educational experience as an explanation for his many achievements. He states that Drexel’s co-op program was the key to his success. While Greenawalt was trying to decide if he wanted to pursue a Ph.D., he spent a coop as a research assistant. “I had a good time; there was a lot of camaraderie. But the experience also gave me an indication that it wasn’t how I wanted to spend my whole life. It helped me decide I really wanted to go into business.”
After this experience, Greenawalt earned an MBA in 1968 from Carnegie Mellon University and, soon afterwards, began working for Texas Instruments. And then he got a call about a new opportunity at Citibank, which was seeking people with both technical and business backgrounds. Greenawalt was somewhat apprehensive about moving to Manhattan, but he quickly realized getting in at the early stage of a major push from Citibank’s consumer business was an opportunity he could not pass up.
Greenawalt spent 16 years with the banking giant, including a position as President of Citicorp Retail Services. He then moved to Los Angeles as president of Transamerica Financial Corporation before returning to Philadelphia as President and C.O.O. of the multi-billion-dollar Advanta Corp. After 33 years in the corporate world, in 2000, Greenawalt formed the private investment partnership RMK Associates.
Today, Greenawalt’s personal dedication continues to make a difference at Drexel University; his boundless generosity will also have an impact for generations to follow.