University of Rochester

Advancement Awards

Simon Business School

Distinguished Alumnus Award

Established in 1985, the Distinguished Alumnus Award recognizes alumni whose exceptional professional achievements, contributions to their chosen field, and service to the Simon School of Business have brought honor to themselves and to the University of Rochester.

2017 Award Recipient

Joseph W. Abrams

An influential business leader whose success spans more than three decades, Joe Abrams is an outstanding example of dedication, business acumen, and generosity. As a managing member of Cicero Consulting Group, Joe relies on his diverse background, including business ventures in educational and entertainment software, mobile application development, solar energy, and strategic consulting, to advise clients on key business decisions and strategic planning. A true entrepreneur, his first company, The Software Toolworks, grew to more than $150 million in revenue just six years after its launch, selling to Pearson, Plc. for $460 million in 1994. Similar success followed just five years later with the creation of Intermix, the parent company of MySpace, which sold to News Corps. in 2005 for $580 million. Joe’s professional drive is matched only by his pride for his alma mater. As a member of the Simon National Council and the Simon School Venture Capital Fund Board, he remains invested in the future of the School and is committed to cultivating awareness and support throughout the Bay area as a member of the San Francisco Bay Regional Cabinet and Campaign Committee. Deeply committed to the School, he continues to serve as a trusted advisor, valued mentor, and devoted philanthropist. In recognition of Joe Abram’s outstanding career achievements and tireless dedication to the Simon Business School, it is with our sincere thanks and admiration that this honor is bestowed.

Recipients of the Distinguished Alumnus Award