University of Akron Board names Tony Alexander newest Advisory Trustee


One of Akron’s foremost civic and business leaders, Anthony J. (Tony) Alexander, has accepted a new position as Advisory Trustee to The University of Akron Board of Trustees. Effective upon Board approval at its Aug. 7 meeting, Alexander, FirstEnergy Corp. President and CEO, will provide advice and counsel to UA’s Board and leadership and participate in all Board activities.

David Simmons, The University of Akron

Anthony Alexander

Alexander joins Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President and CEO Sandra (Sandy) Pianalto as the second UA Advisory Trustee. Pianalto’s appointment was announced last December. The position, established by Board rule last year, “permits the university to take advantage of the talents, resources and experiences of individuals who may or may not be residents of the state of Ohio.” The criteria utilized for selection of Advisory Trustees include the following:

  • Success in chosen field or business;
  • State or national prominence;
  • Ability to serve as an advocate for higher education;
  • Ability and willingness to offer advice to the Board and President; and
  • Demonstrated support of the University of Akron

Though not required by Board rule, both Pianalto and Alexander are alumni of the University. Alexander received his bachelor of science degree in accounting in 1972, and upon graduation, joined Ohio Edison. He continued his academic studies at UA, earning a law degree in 1975. When Ohio Edison merged with Centerior Energy in 1997 to become FirstEnergy, Alexander became executive vice president and general counsel. He was elected president in 2000, president and chief operating officer in 2001, and president and CEO in 2004.

“Tony Alexander brings to UA a portfolio of experiences in guiding and growing a complex organization through challenging regulatory, environmental and economic issues,” says Richard (Dick) Pogue, UA Board chair. “His expertise, knowledge and wisdom will be great assets to this Board as we confront the challenges in higher education. Tony truly understands the vital leadership role this university plays in the regional economy, as an innovator, a contributor, and the source of skilled and entrepreneurial graduates in strengthening the work force of Akron.”

An essential role

“I am honored to be appointed to The University of Akron Board of Trustees,” said Tony Alexander. “The University has played an essential role in my own life by providing me with the education and skills to pursue a meaningful and fulfilling career. I am grateful for the opportunity to give back to the University as it continues its mission to help students achieve their academic and career goals.”

“Tony’s willingness to participate on our Board makes a tremendous statement to our University and our community,” said UA President Luis M. Proenza. “Here is the chief executive officer of one of the major companies in the world—and a distinguished alumnus of The University of Akron—demonstrating his long-standing appreciation for the role the University plays in the life and well-being and economy of Akron.”

UA Trustee Roland (Rollie) Bauer led the committee that recommended Pianalto and Alexander as the first advisory trustees. “Tony has been an outstanding and active alumnus, a thoughtful leader, and an extraordinary example of citizenship,” said Bauer.

Deep ties to the university

Alexander, his wife Becky and two of their four adult sons all hold degrees from The University of Akron. He also received an honorary doctorate from UA in 2009, and completed the Program for Management Development at the Harvard Graduate School of Business, and the Reactor Technology Course for Utility Executives at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a recipient of The University of Akron’s Alumni Honor Award, Dr. Frank L. Simonetti Distinguished Business Alumni Award, and Outstanding Law School Alumni Award, and is a former president of The University of Akron National Alumni Board.

Alexander is a board member of the Edison Electric Institute and the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, a trustee of Akron Tomorrow and Team NEO, and a member of the President’s Advancement Council of the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron. He has also served on the boards of trustees of the Akron General Health System, Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce, Ohio Business Roundtable, and the NEOMED Foundation.


Media contact: Eileen Korey, 330-972-8589 or


On the role of Advisory Trustees

Triangle Richard Pogue and Dr. Luis Proenza

On the appointment of Tony Alexander

Triangle Richard Pogue and Dr. Luis Proenza

On his role as an Advisory Trustee

Triangle Tony Alexander

On the importance
of The University of Akron

Triangle Tony Alexander