Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tom Julian '84 Publishes Book on Men's Fashion

I’ve never been known as “fashionable.”

When I was in grade school, I regularly wore red-and-black checkered suspenders to school. Seriously. In high school, sometimes I wore sweatpants with a matching sweatshirt. Most of the time, however, it was the standard jeans, jean jacket, backwards Motley Crüe hat, and my favorite black sneakers. It’s hard to believe I couldn’t find a girlfriend.

Tom Julian, a 1984 graduate of Robert Morris University, has never had a problem with fashion.

As president and founder of Tom Julian Group, “a global business enterprise creating innovative and visionary branding solutions for Fortune 500 companies in the fashion, retail, financial, automotive and hospitality industries,” this RMU alumnus can not only tell you a thing or two about the latest trends in men’s fashion, he can also provide companies with expert advice on branding and marketing.

Now Tom is announcing the release of his new book: The Nordstrom Guide to Men's Style.

According to the website, in the book Tom “…demystifies the terms, rules and logic used by menswear insiders so you can choose the right fabrics and patterns, select appropriate cuts and accessories, find the best fit, create your own personalized look and assemble the perfect wardrobe for your lifestyle.”

When it comes to style, few people are as knowledgeable as Tom. For 14 years he served as a celebrity reporter and chronicler of “red carpet” trends for the Style Section of for, the official website of the Academy Awards®. He’s also been a guest and fashion analyst on national TV shows and stations like “Live With Regis & Kelly” and E! Entertainment Television.

If you’d like a signed copy of Tom’s new book, head over to Nordstrom’s at Ross Park Mall on Saturday, Oct. 3, from noon to 2 p.m. Just be sure to RSVP by Sept. 29 to

And please, for Tom’s sake, don’t wear sweatpants.

--Valentine J. Brkich

Monday, August 17, 2009

Local Veterans Discuss Issues at RMU

This afternoon, approximately 200 other people braved the sweltering August heat to gather in the International Suite in Sewall Center at Robert Morris University for a special meeting with U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter and retired U.S. Army Gen. Eric K. Shinseki, the U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs. The purpose of the meeting was to allow members of the audience discuss various issues concerning veterans. About half of those in attendance were veterans, with those who served in World War II all the way up to those who have served in the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

After a brief welcome from RMU President Gregory G. Dell’Omo, Sen. Specter addressed the room, voicing his intentions to do what he can for local veterans. Both Specter and his brother are veterans themselves, and their father served and was wounded in World War I.

Before the members of the audience were given the floor, Secretary Shinseki stated that it was his goal to make the Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A.) the “provider of choice for all vets” within the next five years. He also said that the new G.I. Bill is “as good as or better” than that of 1944—a bill that provided a college education for millions of veterans. Shinseki added that the V.A.’s budget would be increasing by 15% in 2010, which will be the largest increase for the department by any president in the past 30 years.

As the floor was opened up to questions, various veterans voiced their concerns over such issues as the lack of benefits, joblessness, and even homelessness among veterans. In fact, at least three of those in attendance were homeless vets themselves. As each issue was raised, both Secretary Shinseki and Sen. Specter responded with their intentions to do whatever was necessary to find a proper and timely resolution.

RMU has made a strong commitment to members of the armed services through things like the Yellow Ribbon Program, the Veterans Business Outreach Center, and ROTC. Earlier this year, the university announced its new Military Service Award, which will enable veterans who qualify for full benefits under the new Post-9/11 GI Bill to enroll tuition-free in any of the university’s undergraduate or graduate programs. We were among the first private universities in the country to offer such a program.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The British are coming! (We hope)

Regular readers of this blog -- we know you are out there -- know that our Homecoming takes place this year on Sept. 26, just after the G-20 Summit (rechristened The Pittsburgh Summit) wraps up in downtown Pittsburgh.

In the spirit of good transatlantic relations, we decided to invite the British delegation to come partake in our Homecoming celebration, as a way of burying the hatchet over that whole Revolutionary War business. Here is the text of the letter that RMU President Greg Dell'Omo sent to the British ambassador to the United States, Sir Nigel Sheinwald.

Dear Ambassador Sheinwald:

As the president of a Pittsburgh university named for the man who financed George Washington’s army, I am proud of the historical heritage of Robert Morris University. While Morris is not as widely known as other Founding Fathers, the “Financier of the Revolution” loaned the colonial forces money from his own accounts and ordered his company's ships to operate as privateers, attacking British vessels and seizing their cargo.

All’s fair in love and war, as they say. Yet today, as Pittsburgh prepares to welcome the world’s leaders for the G-20 summit, I recall the special relationship between the United States and United Kingdom. Former foes are now partners. Our university maintains a student exchange program with the University of Birmingham, we have British students and faculty, and we are extremely proud that this fall, alumnus Michael Wahl will become the first RMU graduate to attend the University of Oxford, where he plans to pursue a doctorate in social anthropology.

So how to make amends for the past? While it will not be possible for us to return the cargo Morris’s privateers took, I would like to offer something almost as valuable. The day after the summit, on Saturday, September 26, we will hold our annual “Homecoming” ceremonies for alumni, culminating in the crowning of a king and queen (an idea we borrowed from the “Mother Country”) and a game of RMU Colonials football (our kind, not your kind) at high noon.

I would like to invite your delegation to be my personal guests that day, including seats in my private presidential reviewing stand, an American lunch, and, if you are willing, a formal handshake at midfield to convey our mutual admiration and respect.

Robert Morris University is very close to the Pittsburgh airport, so this may be a fun way for your officials to wrap up the visit before departing. We would be glad to make all transportation arrangements for your group’s visit, on Homecoming or on another day. If your schedule is too full, we would be pleased to meet you at your convenience to share ideas about how Robert Morris University can strengthen its commitment to giving its students a global perspective.

I wish you a pleasant and productive visit to Pittsburgh, and sincerely hope to have a chance to welcome you to RMU.


Gregory G. Dell’Omo, Ph.D.
President, Robert Morris University