Proenza honored for his work advancing Greater Akron's development


UA President Dr. Luis M. Proenza speaks following receipt of the Peter Berg Award

President Luis Proenza addresses the crowd after receiving the H. Peter Burg Award from the Greater Akron Chamber.

In front of an audience of nearly 1,000 people, President Luis M. Proenza was presented with the prestigious H. Peter Burg Award from the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce.

The award recognizes an individual “who has displayed paramount leadership for the advancement of Greater Akron’s economic and community development.” 

In a compelling video tribute to his life and career—featuring his wife Theresa and many others who describe his contributions to university and community—Dr. Proenza’s vision for the growth of the university and the region was documented.

UA Board Chair Richard W. Pogue calls him “a quiet dynamo” and FirstEnergy CEO Tony Alexander says both Burg and Proenza “put what was good for the people of our area as a priority and they found a way to strike the right balance between what it takes to be a true community leader.”

In presenting the award to Dr. Proenza, Mayor Don Plusquellic (last year’s award recipient) called Dr. Proenza a visionary, and handed him some “energy balls” in reference to the Super Bowl commercials that brought a lot of attention to Akron and northeast Ohio.

In accepting the award, Dr. Proenza paid special tribute to the UA alumni in the audience: “I don’t know what the total alumni representation is in this room but I can tell you that seven of the past nine Burg award recipients are Zips – and let’s make that eight because Joe Kanfer is an honorary alumnus. If the achievements and contributions of all these alumni do not stand as a testament to the University’s importance for economic development, I don’t know what will.”

The award was inscribed with the following words:
The one with the vision shows us the way
The one with the passion shows us why
The one with integrity shows us how.

The award was presented during the Greater Akron Chamber’s annual meeting on Tuesday, March 20. 

Proenzas with Plusquellic

Dr. Proenza and his wife Theresa stand with Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic. During his remarks, the mayor handed President Proenza the "energy balls" -- a reference to the University's Super Bowl commercials.

Video tribute prepared by the Greater Akron Chamber


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