In Memoriam: Ray Westphal
August 9, 2023
With sadness, we share news of the passing of Rainer John “Ray” Westphal, trustee emeritus and ardent support of Drexel University and the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design.
Since receiving his bachelor’s degree in business in 1959, Ray remained a proud member of the Drexel community. He supported many initiatives at the University, including naming the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design in honor of his late wife, Antoinette Passo Westphal, whom he met while the two pursued degrees at the University.
He founded Vertex in 1978 and led the company for 20 years; creating one of the first true outsourcing companies in the United States. Today, Vertex (VERX) is the leading public corporate tax compliance technology company in the world, employing thousands, and serving countless, for the betterment of global commerce.
Ray served as a Drexel trustee and on the LeBow Advisory Board. In September 2014, he was confirmed as an emeritus trustee. He was inducted into the Drexel 100 in 1992 and the World Association of Cooperative Education Hall of Fame in 2003, and he received the Golden Dragon Award in 2009. For his contributions to the University, Ray was also presented with an honorary Drexel degree in 2002.
Ray passed peacefully on August 7, 2023, among family in Devon, Pennsylvania. Our deepest sympathies are with the Westphal family in this time of grief. A moving tribute to Ray’s remarkable life can be found here.