Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

Honorary Degree Recipients

Platon Antoniou

Platon Antoniou

Having photographed more world leaders than anyone else in history, Platon Antoniou is one of the world’s most renowned portrait photographers. He has photographed more than 30 covers for TIME magazine, including the 2007 Vladimir Putin Person of the Year cover. In addition, he has had the honor of photographing every living American president.

Mr. Antoniou currently serves on the board for Arts and Culture at the World Economic Forum and as a steward for the Economic Growth and Social Inclusion Initiative. His life’s work is the subject of an episode of the Netflix documentary series Abstract: The Art of Design. He has authored and published four books on topics ranging from the power of world leaders to the dignity of those who serve in the U.S. military.  

In 2013, Mr. Antoniou founded The People’s Portfolio, a nonprofit foundation dedicated to celebrating emerging leaders of human and civil rights. The People’s Portfolio creates a visual language that breaks barriers, expands dignity, fights discrimination, and enlists the public to support human rights around the world. Previously, in 2008, Mr. Antoniou signed on as staff photographer to The New Yorker and maintains relationships with many international publications.

Mr. Antoniou attended Saint Martin’s School of Art in London, where he received his BA with honors in graphic design. He then went on to earn an MA in photography and fine art at the Royal College of Art.

Michael Gold

Michael Gold

Mike Gold began his forty-three year career at the Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA), the Blue Cross Blue Shield plan in Hawaii. Over the years, he held leadership positions throughout the organization, culminating in serving for ten years as COO and five years as CEO. During his tenure as CEO, HMSA grew to more than 730,000 members, and was recognized as Hawaii’s top company in 2015, 2016 and 2017 by Hawaii Business magazine. During this period, Mr. Gold also served on the boards of numerous organizations including the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Aloha United Way, and the Hawaii Foodbank.

Under Mr. Gold’s leadership, HMSA evolved into a health organization and not simply a payor of healthcare claims. The health plan convened a Blue-Ribbon Panel of the country’s leading health policy experts to aid in the development of a program called “Mahie 2020.” Mahie – a Hawaiian word signifying “transformation” – altered the health plan payment system for all primary care providers from a fee-for-service system to a system that compensates providers for measurably improving their patients’ overall physical, mental, and emotional health. The panel continues to assist HMSA to develop payment systems for specialist and hospital care.

Among other health plan initiatives under his leadership were implementing the first telehealth system in the nation offered by a health plan and making it available to all residents of Hawaii, introducing a communitywide initiative to help make the healthy choice the easy choice for everyone in Hawaii, implementing the country’s first healthcare application that organizes all a person’s health on a single digital platform for the entire population of the state, and building state-of-the-art community centers across the state of Hawaii.

Prior to his work at the HMSA, Mr. Gold served in the United States Air Force Security Service as a Vietnamese Language Specialist and studied Philosophy at the University of Hawaii. Today, Mr. Gold continues his work in health care by serving on the boards of innovative healthcare startups.