Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of VISIT PHILADELPHIA®, and Robert W. Bogle, vice chairman of the VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s Board of Directors, today received Honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters from Temple University. The degrees were conferred upon Levitz and Bogle during the University’s spring commencement exercises in recognition of their extraordinary professional accomplishments, strong civic leadership and commitment to the City of Philadelphia.
“At Temple, we bestow honorary degrees upon innovative, passionate and deserving leaders—like Meryl Levitz and Robert Bogle—whose values and achievements foster the mission of our University,” said Richard M. Englert, president of Temple University. “Through their leadership at VISIT PHILADELPHIA and beyond, both have played an integral role in the great renaissance of the City of Philadelphia during the past two decades. That work aligns with our own commitment to the community Temple calls home. It is an honor to recognize Meryl and Bob with these honorary degrees.”
During the past two decades, Levitz and her team at VISIT PHILADELPHIA have built the image of and encouraged visitation to the five-county region, making it a top-rated travel destination. In doing so, Levitz has been recognized as a leader committed to collaboration, mentorship, team building and diversity. Since 1997, the region’s travel and tourism industry has delivered $10 billion in state and local tax revenue and $160 billion in total economic impact. Tourism employment in the region has grown 4.2 times faster than total employment, which far exceeds tourism employment growth nationally. What’s more, Saturday night—an indicator of a city’s health as a leisure destination—continues to be the most popular night of the week—for 14 years running, helping to make overnight leisure the fastest-growing visitor segment in the region.
“It’s a privilege to be awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Temple University, an institution that shares VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s passion for Philadelphia,” said Levitz. “I have long admired Temple and its dedication to providing a superior education to students of all backgrounds, and especially those pursuing careers in the tourism industry—a hugely impactful industry here in Philadelphia. I am grateful to President Englert and the university for this honor.”
In his role as vice chairman of VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s Board of Directors, Bogle has helped change the perception of the city by providing strategic oversight and support to the leisure tourism organization for nearly 15 years. As chairman, president and CEO of The Philadelphia Tribune, Bogle brings significant media experience and business acumen to the organization’s board. In addition to his service to VISIT PHILADELPHIA, Bogle serves on the boards of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, the Mann Music Center for the Performing Arts, the African-American Chamber of Commerce and the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau.
“Temple University has strong and deep ties to the City of Philadelphia and, through its dedication to diversity and education, it has had a transformative impact on the local community. What Temple has done to help our city grow is extraordinary. To receive this degree is incredibly meaningful to me.”
Temple University also awarded an honorary degree to U.S. Senator Cory Booker.
VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is our name and our mission. As the region’s official tourism marketing agency, we build Greater Philadelphia’s image, drive visitation and boost the economy.
On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.