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Widener University announces two new trustees

murphy rodriguez

Widener University is pleased to announce two university alumni will take seats on its Board of Trustees beginning July 1. The new trustees include civil engineer Louis A. Rodriguez Jr. and former Under Secretary of the U.S. Army Patrick Murphy.

“I am grateful and honored that these two exceptional alumni have agreed to share their time and expertise with the university in the key role of trustee. Their participation and commitment will add great value and I very much look forward to working with them to advance Widener University,” President Dr. Julie E. Wollman said.

Rodriguez is a 1991 graduate and serves as president and founder of Rodriguez Consulting, LLC, a civil engineering firm specializing in large infrastructure projects, as well as geospatial surveying and mapping. The firm is headquartered in the South Kensington section of Philadelphia. Rodriguez is chair of the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and was recently appointed to the Board of Philadelphia Facilities Management Corp., the nonprofit organization managing Philadelphia Gas Works. He was awarded the Business Advocate Award by the Hispanic Leadership Association of New Jersey in 2015.

Rodriguez was instrumental in forming an engineering alumni group at Widener and he has served as an Engineering Student Project judge. His wife, Nicole K. Mezalis Rodriguez, is a registered nurse and a 1993 alumna of Widener’s School of Nursing. They reside in Williamstown, N.J. and are the parents of two children. His father, Louis Rodriguez Sr., is also a Widener graduate, having earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1972 and his master’s in public administration in 1995.

“I am looking forward to collaborating with President Wollman, the university, and the board to further develop and implement Widener’s strategic vision,” Rodriguez said.

Murphy is a 1999 graduate of Widener University Commonwealth Law School in Harrisburg, Pa. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives for Pennsylvania from 2007 to 2011 and as Under Secretary of the U.S. Army from December 2015 through the end of the Obama administration, including a five-month stint as Acting Secretary. He formerly taught at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and served on its Board of Visitors after an appointment by President Obama. He volunteered for deployment after 9/11 and served in Bosnia in 2002, and in Baghdad during the Iraq War, where he was a captain in the 82nd Airborne Division. He currently serves as CEO of Taking the Hill LLC, a television and media production company focused on military and veteran television properties that bridge the civilian-military divide.

Murphy served on his law school National Advisory Council and shared his expertise as an adjunct professor at Widener Law Commonwealth from 2011-15. He served on the school’s most recent dean search committee. From 2015-16 he executive produced and hosted CBS Television’s “Triumph Games,” with Virtus, the television production company he founded. The series aimed to combat public misconceptions about veterans. In the four years prior to that, he served as the executive producer and host of MSNBC’s military-themed “Taking the Hill” program. He and his wife Jennifer live in Bucks County, Pa. with their two children.

“I’m proud to be a graduate and member of the Widener University family, and to now serve as a trustee under President Wollman’s leadership,” Murphy said.

Download a head shot of Rodriguez here, and Murphy here.