Honoree - Tumminello

Stephen C. TumminelloTumminello FULL

Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

In his career, his personal life and his relationship with his alma mater, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Stephen C. Tumminello has demonstrated unwavering loyalty and a tireless commitment to excellence. Such qualities propelled him to leadership positions in one of the world’s premier high-tech firms, Philips Electronics North America Corporation, and to the role of chairman of the Board of Trustees at the University.

Shortly after graduating from FDU as an accounting major, Tumminello started his career as a certified public accountant with what is now Deloitte & Touche. “Gaining that position was a testimony to the education I received,” he said. Three years later he joined a small lighting company, Radiant Lamp, as CFO and was later promoted to president and general manager in 1965. Then, in 1968, the company was acquired by Philips Electronics North America Corporation, one of the largest manufacturers of lamps and lighting appliances.

Tumminello stayed with the new parent company as the head of the lighting division. His dedication and talent led to his promotion in 1983 to the position of Vice President and Group Executive of the parent company. In 1986 he was promoted to Executive Vice President responsible for a group of companies with sales in excess of $3 billion. In June 1990, he became the first American to be appointed president and chief executive officer of Philips Electronics North America, the North American branch of Philips Electronics of The Netherlands.

Philips’ units in the U.S., Canada and Mexico under his direct supervision employed more than 48,000 employees with annual sales of $7 billion and featured such brand products as Philips, Norelco and Magnavox. He retired as president and CEO in April, 1997.

In the same manner that he forged professional success, he has served Fairleigh Dickinson. Past chairman of the Annual Fund drive, he worked on the task force that rebuilt the Alumni Association in the mid-1980s. He was a member of the Alumni Association Board of Governors as well as the Presidential Alumni Advisory Board and the President’s Council. In 1990, in recognition of his outstanding accomplishments and his devotion to the University, he was awarded The PINNACLE, the highest award the University bestows on its alumni. That same year, he was named to the Board of Trustees and in 1996 was appointed chairman of the board.

A member of Who’s Who in America, Tumminello is a past member of the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Electrical Manufacturers Club. He currently serves on the Board of the J.M Huber Corporation of Edison, NJ, and in the past, has served on the boards of American Manufacturing Company of King of Prussia, PA., the J. M. Fluke Corp. of Seattle, WA, the Boards of Channel One and the Whittle Enterprises, including the Edison Schools. He has also served on the Board of the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association and the U.S. Council for International Business. His civic responsibilities, in addition to Fairleigh Dickinson University, include his membership on the Board of Solaras Health Systems, the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Edison, and Muhlenberg Hospital.

He and his wife, Elaine, have three daughters.

At Fairleigh Dickinson University Commencement ceremonies at Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, NJ, on May 17, 2004, he will receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from University President J. Michael Adams.