Rosemary Turner, president of UPS small package operations in the Chesapeake District, was the commencement speaker at the Girard College graduation ceremony on Thursday, June 7.
The ceremony took place in Girard’s
historic Chapel before an audience of
53 graduating seniors, their families
and school staff.
Drawing on her own personal story as a latch-key kid growing up in the rough neighborhood of Compton, Los Angeles County, she told the audience that she was motivated by her mother who told Turner that she could be anything she wanted to be.
As she grew up and became a business woman in a man's world, Turner used that motivation to ask herself, "Why not me?" when challenges and opportunities arose. She turned that question out to the graduating seniors.
"As you move forward in your life, ask yourself 'Why not me?'" she said."If I can do it, then surely you can do it."
Turner also told the audience that she had started a stock market club at Girard about 18 months before. Known for her commitment to educating and empowering women, Turner met regularly with 10 Girard girls to learn about business topics, market trends, and investment strategies. The girls bought stock in various companies and tracked the market daily.
"I told these young ladies that I wanted them to be more than just consumers," she said. "I want them to be owners."
Turner reminded the seniors that the school's founder, Stephen Girard, had a dream to create this unique school, that Martin Luther King had a dream, and that our foremothers and forefathers had dreams of learning to read and write. She went on to say that Girard College had given them the chance to have their own dreams, and to follow them.
A recognized leader with 33 years of experience in the transportation industry, Turner has developed expertise in analyzing market strategies to increase profitability, managing business operations, implementing organizational and cultural change and delivering on execution. She is an impressive communicator with honed interpersonal, team-building, negotiation, presentation and analytical skills.
As an active member of the community, Turner is an executive board member for the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and the Urban League of Philadelphia. She is currently the board chair for the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania. She serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for Loyola Marymount University and for Main Line Health. In addition, she serves on the Mayor’s Private Task Force in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia School Reform Working Group, the Diversity Council for Comcast/NBC, and the CEO Ambassadors for 21st Century Education.
FAMILIES: Graduation photos are available at SmugMug site.