Each Homecoming we bestow alumni awards to alumni and other PC faithful for their contributions to the College. G. Patrick Phillips ‘71 is the 2018 Gold P Award recipient. The Gold P Award recognizes an alumnus or alumna for outstanding accomplishments in his or her chosen profession, which reflect honor upon the College.
The Gold P is the second award that Phillips has received for outstanding accomplishments during his career. Phillips had been in banking only nine years when he received the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award in 1982.
Phillips earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from PC in 1971. He showed promise early on as a PC student by serving as director of the Human Relations Council and the Business and Economics Club. An Alumni Scholar, Phillips was on the Dean’s List as well as in Who’s Who Among College and University Students.
“PC provided me with an opportunity to grow, to explore new ideas, to think critically, and to believe a young fellow from a family of modest means could make a difference. And most importantly, to believe that the people that you surround yourself with, your friends and colleagues, will make all the difference in your success,” said Phillips.
After PC, Phillips went on to earn a Master of Business Administration from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia in 1973. He joined North Carolina National Bank (NCNB) that same year.
Phillips quickly advanced in his career, being promoted to senior vice president seven years after joining the company. NCNB later became Bank of America, one of the largest financial institutions in the world.
Phillips served in several leadership roles in his 35-year career with Bank of America. During his tenure as President of Consumer and Small Business Products for Bank of America, Phillips’ teams built the world’s largest debit card issuer, the most profitable credit card issuer and the largest online banking operation in the US. He served as president of Premier Banking and Investments from 2005 until he retired in 2008.
Phillips also provided leadership to a number of banking industry organizations, including stints as chairman of both Visa USA and the Consumer Bankers Association.
He continues to be active in financial services as the Lead Independent Director of USAA’s bank, a member of the board of Cardtronics PLC, and as an advisor to the financial services practice of global management consulting firm, Bain and Company.
Phillips has actively served PC for the past 22 years by providing the College with caring and thoughtful leadership and generosity to help fulfill its mission. He served on the Board of Visitors from 1996 to 1999 before joining the Board of Trustees. He was a diligent board member from 1999 to 2006, then served again from 2009 through 2017 including the role of chairman of the board for 4 of those years.
A member of Myers Park Presbyterian Church, he endowed the Ruby K. Phillips Chair of Comparative Religion in honor of his mother.
Earlier this year, Phillips and his wife, Debbie, were named the 2018 Distinguished Members of the William Plumer Jacobs Society.
Phillips has lived PC’s motto, “While We Live, We Serve” by serving on the board of cultural and philanthropic organizations, including chairing the boards of:
- Arts & Science Council Charlotte/Mecklenburg
- Charlotte Symphony
- Mecklenburg Boy Scouts
- Novant Healthcare
Pat and Debbie Phillips are the proud parents of Sally Phillips Sacco ‘99 and Katie Phillips Reed, and the proud grandparents of four future Blue Hose. Sally’s husband, Brian, is a 1996 alumnus of PC.
For a list of all of this year’s award recipients, visit the Alumni Awards Recipients page.