WBU-Phoenix honors alumnus with distinguished award at graduation

Tony PennPHOENIX – Wayland Baptist University honored one of its alumni at an April graduation ceremony in Phoenix. Amid a backdrop of degrees and addresses, United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona president and CEO Tony Penn was named the Distinguished Alumni Award winner for the campus for 2022.

Penn oversees a team that works to fund agencies that impact more than 200,000 lives in Southern Arizona. As CEO, he is the chief advocate and spokesperson for the agency and champions positive data-driven performance.

Prior to joining the United Way in 2010, Penn was chief development officer at the YMCA in San Antonio for nine years. He has also served as a regional manager with Teradyne. He is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. Tony earned his bachelor’s degree from Wayland’s Phoenix campus in 2021 and also studied leadership at Harvard Business School and the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Besides his impact at work, Penn has received recognition for his service to the community on the floor of the U.S. Congress in 2013 and 2015. He also served as Chair of the Board of the Tucson Chamber of Commerce in 2015. In 2018, he was honored as a Father of the Year by the Tucson Father’s Day Council. Most recently, Penn was recognized by Greater Tucson Leadership with the 2021 Man of the Year Award for contributing significant time, energy, spirit and leadership, making a positive impact on the quality of life in the community.

“We love that our Wayland alumni are not just great at their vocations and jobs but that they are really impacting the cities in which they live, and Tony Penn is an excellent example of that,” said Teresa Young, Director of Alumni Relations at Wayland. “His accomplishments in both realms make him a great choice for Distinguished Alumnus of the Phoenix campus, and we’re so proud to honor Tony in this way.”

Penn will be competing with other campus winners from 2022 for the Alumnus of the Year award to be presented at Homecoming in February 2023. Wayland has selected a winner for each of its campuses since 2018.


Pictured: Distinguished Alumni Award winner Tony Penn, center, received his honor from Phoenix campus director Dr. Andrew Marquez during a recent campus graduation ceremony.