WORTH READING: A THANK YOU LETTER

Dear Michael, 

I found this photo of you presenting me with my certificate of completion of your “Ethics Corps“ training in 1991. I still have the three-ring binder with all your notes. It reminded me of how influential you have been to so many including me over more than 30 years. 

I recall with pleasure your address to our annual Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters conferment in Anaheim in 1989, your address to our Board of Trustees in St. Paul, Minnesota and your key role in Ethics Awareness Month in San Francisco in the 1990s. 

You may remember that I retired from the Institutes on my 25th anniversary in 1998 and immediately joined the faculty at Temple University teaching risk management. A small group of us urged the Dean to build ethics into the core curriculum and he did it! Every business student must take a full 15-week course called “Business, Society and Ethics”. I was fortunate to have been selected to teach two sections of this new course each year that was largely based on your writings. 

The course was written up in USA TODAY when we invited white collar criminals to speak to our students about how they gradually crossed the line. Over the years, I had almost 900 business students in those ethics classes, reading and discussing your guidelines for ethical decision-making and the six pillars of character that were distributed and discussed in class. They soon realized that it is “easier said than done”. 

But the bulk of my students (about 2500) were taking my risk management courses and I built in one full week of “Managing the risks and unethical and illegal acts”. Again, you were most influential in the curriculum and your website was listed in the study materials. 

On behalf of the Institute and my students toTemple University, I want to thank you most sincerely for dedicating your life to raising the level of ethical behavior and for founding the Josephson Institute that has had such a powerful impact on me and on so many others. I still read your inspiring messages on your website. You have a unique skill in finding the right words to effectively get your point across without offending anyone’s beliefs. And you have been doing it for decades. On my office wall above my laptop is a collage of photos of my family and above that is your poem, “What Will Matter”. 

I wish you, Anne, Samara, Abrielle, Carissa, Miles and Lincoln good health and all the best in the coming year. 

With deep respect and admiration, 
Norm Baglini

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