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February 7, 2008

Former Heinz Endowments prez to speak at convocation

Maxwell King, recently retired president of The Heinz Endowments, will be the keynote speaker at the 32nd annual honors convocation, set for 2 p.m. Feb. 29 in Carnegie Music Hall.

The convocation recognizes faculty and staff accomplishments; undergraduate, graduate and professional student academic achievement; student leadership, and outstanding alumni.

King will speak on “Hard Times on Planet Earth: How Human Ingenuity Has Gotten Us in Trouble With the Natural World and How It Can Help Us Build a Model of Stewardship for the Future.”

During King’s tenure as its president, which began in 1999, The Heinz Endowments awarded about $500 million in grants to projects, organizations and initiatives, most of them in western Pennsylvania.

King is board chair of the national Council on Foundations and past chair of the council’s ethics and practices committee.

Locally, he has served on the committee to enhance efficiency and effectiveness of county and city government, the Mayor’s Commission on Public Education, the Pittsburgh Public Service Fund board, Pitt’s Institute of Politics board of fellows and the board of the Senator John Heinz History Center.

He also has been a board member of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse, and has served on the executive committee of the Riverlife Task Force, which has set development standards and underwritten projects along the city’s three rivers.

He is the recipient of the inaugural Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award, presented by the Coro fellows program for young professionals, and the Institute of Politics Coleman Award, presented for excellence in leadership service to western Pennsylvania.

Prior to joining the Heinz Endowments, King was editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer, 1990-98. He served as chair of the values and ethics committee of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and is a founding member of the Committee of Concerned Journalists.

He received his BA cum laude from Harvard in 1967, and attended Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.

Pitt will award him an honorary doctoral degree at the convocation.

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