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Congratulations to Simon Ziff on being named a 2012 Penn State Alumni Fellow recipient. The Alumni Fellow Award is the most prestigious award given by the Penn State Alumni Association. Since 1973, the Alumni Fellow Award has been given to select alumni who, as leaders in their professional fields, are nominated by an academic college and accept an invitation from the President of the University to return to campus to share their expertise with students, faculty, and administrators.

Simon is President of Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group, a multi-billion dollar commercial real estate investment company and pre-eminent boutique real estate capital advisory firm specializing in debt financing, mezzanine financing, preferred equity, joint venture equity and sponsor equity. The company has offices in NY, Boston, Miami, Washington, DC and Phillipsburg, PA and has arranged over $20 billion of debt, mezzanine and equity financing.

In announcing the award, Dean of Penn State's Smeal College of Business, Jim Thomas, said "To me, Simon represents all the qualities that define a great alumnus. 1) Generosity: Not just money but time and involvement as well. 2) Passion: Does anyone know anybody more passionate about Penn State than Simon? 3) Humbleness: Ok, let's go to #4. 4) Student-focused: He wants to help every kid to get a chance, to let them see what he did (or didn't) while he was here that helped, to give everyone he interacts with a decent chance at life. And finally, he makes a difference. He does it with all of the things above plus his humor, insight, motivation, and honor. We are proud to have him as a fellow and a friend."

Simon joins other Beta Sig recipients of this award (or the Distinguished Alumni award) including Harold Benjamin, Paul Berg, Marc Brownstein, Mimi Coppersmith, Gene Chaiken, Sam Fredman, Arnie Hoffman, Bob Jubelirer, David Lipson, Gilbert Nurick, Dave Pincus and Sam Sidewater.