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Philip Erdoes

Philip Erdoes’ gifts offer ‘extra lift’ to students

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Media Contact: Jacob Longan | Coordinator of Communications and Marketing | 405-744-7497 |

Philip Erdoes is the lone inductee into the College of Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame for 2021.

“Philip is richly deserving of this honor,” said Glen Krutz, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “When you read the criteria for the CAS Hall of Fame, it sounds like a description of him. He embodies the qualities that make OSU an extraordinary place to grow. He demonstrates excellence and leadership in his career, and he makes significant contributions through distinguished service. We are so proud that he is part of the CAS family.”

Erdoes completed a 1985 biology/biomedicine degree in OSU’s Department of Integrative Biology, followed by a J.D. with honors from the University of Oklahoma College of Law and an MBA at Harvard Business School. He is also a member of the Sigma Nu Fraternity.

Today, he is CEO of the New Traditionalists, a U.S. furniture manufacturer, as well as chairman and CEO of Bear Cognition, a data analytics company. He is also managing partner of Last Rodeo Studios, a film production and investment entity, and Bear Ventures, which invests in a broad range of industries, including tech, manufacturing, design, media, analytics and logistics. He serves on the board of directors of AlefEdge (a MEC company), the national board of TEDx, and the Dean’s Advisory Board for Harvard Business School. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

The Erdoes family regularly contributes to children’s charities, including Fabretto Children’s Foundation, UNICEF and Robin Hood, a New York-based anti-poverty organization. Importantly, Erdoes and his brother – Peter, a 1982 marketing alumnus whom Philip describes as “the loud dude at the game” – have established an ongoing scholarship fund for the OSU-OKC President’s Leadership Council.

“The support given by Philip Erdoes has had a monumental impact on the students of OSU,” said Christina Troxtell, who administers the scholarship as director of student engagement at OSU-OKC. “It has allowed our students the opportunity to focus on their education. These students have an opportunity to be active in their classes and be involved in the community. In a turbulent time, this generosity has greatly reduced the financial stress and burdens faced by many of our students during the pandemic. It has been amazing to see the transition of our students from brand-new college students to campus leaders.”

The Erdoes brothers grew up in a working-class Oklahoma City neighborhood, where they graduated from Northeast High School. It was that upbringing that led to their interest in community efforts that make a difference in the lives of lower-income students.

“We grew up without much, so we totally understand the financial struggle college can be,” Philip Erdoes said. “We want to help those with huge potential who just need that extra lift. We figured if we could help alleviate that struggle for a set of special students, we should. Or, as I like to say, ‘Play offense, or don’t play.’”

The scholarship recognizes outstanding students who demonstrate talent and distinguished achievement in leadership, citizenship, service and communication with a full tuition waiver for up to 15 credit hours for a full school year.

“Our biggest hope is that these kids go on and do great things and then turn around and help the next generation,” Philip Erdoes said. “Break one cycle, create another. Reach out and help. It’s easy. It’s simple. Show people what OSU really means. Cowboy up!”

Philip and his wife, Mary, CEO of JPMorgan Asset and Wealth Management, live in New York City with their three daughters, Mia (18), Morgan (17), and Mason (14). Peter and his wife, Kim, serve on the OSU Foundation Board of Governors. Philip’s niece, Erin, and nephew, Dirk, both attend OSU.

Photos By: Provided

Story By: Jacob Longan | CONNECT Magazine

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