Procter & Gamble CIO and executives visit Tuskegee University, talk with students



TUSKEGEE, Ala. (January 31, 2012) — Procter & Gamble CIO Filippo Passerini praised George Washington Carver as an American hero during the Tuskegee University’s 13th convocation that honors the famed scientist and educator on Friday in the University Chapel.

“He is the classic example of doing well and doing good,” Passerini said.

Passerini and several executives from his company were on campus to celebrate the life of Carver, and to visit with faculty and students. In his keynote address at the convocation, Passerini said he found several similarities between Carver’s work and the corporate mission of Procter & Gamble, such as a commitment to improve life and to constantly create new products.

“We feel we have room to grow and improve. Dr. Carver was not satisfied,” Passerini explained. “It’s an insatiable desire… this quest to be the best.”

Committed to helping others

 Tuskegee University President Gilbert L. Rochon presents the
 George Washington Carver Leadership Award to Passerini.
While researching Carver, Passerini said he found the education outreach efforts of the scientist, such as the Jessup Wagon, to be impressive and similar to the goals of his company. Passerini, also the group president of the company’s global business services, said Procter & Gamble is dedicated to helping “to touch and improve the lives of more consumers in more parts of the world.” He mentioned several international initiatives that the company is involved in, such as providing water-purifying powder to areas where clean water sources are scarce. He said the product has helped to save more than 21,000 lives.

“It is incredible what can be done by using products in an unconventional way like Dr. Carver did,” Passerini said.

After his address, Passerini was presented with the George Washington Carver Leadership Award by Tuskegee University President Gilbert L. Rochon. He said he was humbled by the recognition and said that Procter & Gamble wishes to foster its successful relationship with the university.

“There is no limit to how much better it can get,” Passerini said.

Doing well together

During a luncheon with the Procter & Gamble delegation, Rochon gave an overview of several of the university’s research and capital campaign goals such as increasing the amount of research grants, and becoming a doctoral research university. Because of the institution’s business and research capabilities, Rochon said Tuskegee has much to offer potential academic and corporate partners.

“I am convinced that the best way to form a partnership is not to go out with a tin cup begging for donations,” he said. “The best way is to inform the partner of our mutual capacity to engage as a serious research and development partner.”

Procter & Gamble has had a longtime relationship with the university, but Passerini said the company is always interested in finding out what more can be done and what is possible to benefit both parties.

“What is still missing is the intersection between the academic world and the business world,” Passerini said.

Future talent

Passerini said the company’s global business services works to transform the way business is done by facilitating change and creating solutions. He said some of Procter & Gamble’s most important goals are creating a diverse company and to recruit and retain black employees.

“Diversity brings new ideas and new ways to think,” Passerini said.

While on campus, the Procter & Gamble delegation toured the Andrew F. Brimmer College of Business and Information Science, and the College of Engineering to access the capabilities of the university and its students in business and potential research. Faculty at both colleges gave the group an overview of past and current projects as well as areas of need. Also, students and faculty met with the executives and presented their research.

When senior Daquavis Palmer presented his project, “Forensic Study of Web Browsing Vulnerabilities through Memory Acquisition,” the delegation was impressed and surprised to learn of all the ways electronic information can be obtained by hackers.

“It was an enlightening opportunity to share our work,” Palmer said. “And, being able to present to a company’s executives… That’s always good.”

Filippo Passerini, Procter & Gamble CIO, addresses the audience during the George Washington Carver Convocation.

Daquavis Palmer (left), a senior, explains his project, “Forensic Study of Web Browsing Vulnerabilities through Memory Acquisition,” to Procter & Gamble representatives.

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