Commencement Speaker 2017

Wagner College is proud to announce that Rich Negrin, Wagner College class of 1988, former managing director of the city of Philadelphia, will deliver this year’s commencement address on May 19.

Also being honored is Dr. Warren R. Procci, Wagner College class of 1968, chairman of Wagner College’s Board of Trustees and former president of the American Psychoanalytic Association.


Rich Negrin

Rich Negrin

Rich Negrin grew up “in a tough North Jersey neighborhood sandwiched between the Port Newark-Elizabeth marine terminals, an oil refinery and a junkyard,” wrote Dan Geringer in a Philadelphia Daily News profile.

Negrin studied political science at Wagner College and played on the Seahawk football team. As co-captain, he led the team to the 1987 Division III national college football championship. Following graduation, Negrin briefly played NFL football for the Cleveland Browns (1988) and the New York Jets (1989).

Negrin earned his law degree from Rutgers University. His legal career has included service as a Philadelphia city prosecutor, a litigator with the firm of Morgan Lewis, and a vice president and associate general counsel for the Aramark Corporation.

After serving for 3 years as vice chairman of the Philadelphia Board of Ethics, Negrin was appointed executive director of the city’s Board of Revision of Taxes. Seven months later, he was named deputy mayor for administration and coordination and managing director of the city of Philadelphia, where he became known for his high ethical standards and his insistence on personal, hands-on community engagement.

A boyhood tragedy shaped Negrin’s life in public service.

In 1979, he was a 13-year-old getting ready to play in his very first Pop Warner football league game. He was excited, not only for the game, but because joining him was his number one fan, his dad, a Cuban exile and pro-democracy activist. As Negrin and his dad were getting in the car, his father was gunned down by assassins.

“I’m not sure I can put into words how hard it was to lose my dad in that way,” Negrin recalls. “An act of violence like that stays with you forever.”

That experience, Negrin says, has made him a relentless advocate for families and a crusader against violent crime.

In 2015, as Mayor Michael Nutter was approaching the end of his term, Deputy Mayor Negrin resigned from public service to become a partner at the Philadelphia law firm of Obermayer, Rebmann, Maxwell & Hippel. In December, he announced that he would run for Philadelphia district attorney.

Rich Negrin will be awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters by his alma mater at this year’s commencement exercise.


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Warren Procci

Dr. Warren R. Procci, chairman of the college’s board of trustees, will also be awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters degree at the 2017 commencement program.

Procci, a 1968 Wagner graduate and native Staten Islander, is himself the son of a Wagner alumnus and native Islander: Waddie Procci ’36, whose parents immigrated from Italy.

After graduating summa cum laude with a chemistry degree, Procci earned his medical doctorate from the University of Wisconsin, where he completed his residency in psychiatry. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

In addition to his private practice, Procci’s career includes a 42-year history of scholarship and service at both L.A. County/USC Medical Center and Harbor/UCLA Medical Center. He continues to teach and supervise psychiatric interns and residents at both of these major university teaching hospitals. He is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, where he has also done research and been a division director in residency education. Procci has also been president and dean of training at the Southern California Psychoanalytic Institute, and from 2002 to 2012 served in many leadership roles with the American Psychoanalytic Association, ultimately serving as its president.

Procci has served on the Wagner College Board of Trustees since 1999, where he has chaired the executive committee since 2012.

Dr. Warren Procci was honored last year by the Wagner College DaVinci Society with its Lifetime Achievement Award.