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2020 John Bonsignore Award


Phil Nichols Garners Two Prestigious Awards—One in Teaching and One is Scholarhsip at the Academy of Legal Studies in Business Annual Conference.

Professor Philip Nichols, the Wharton School’s Joseph Kolodny Professor of Social Responsibility in Business and Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics, has been awarded the 2020 John Bonsignore Memorial Award for Exceptional Teaching of Legal Studies. The Academy of Legal Studies in Business (ALSB) annually recognizes a career of exceptional teaching at its annual conference each year. Due to COVID-19 this year’s conference was virtual over August 3-7, 2020. The Bonsignore Award is one of the highest and most prestigious awards given by the ALSB. Named in honor of the late John Bonsignore to honor an exceptional career in teaching legal studies, the award recognizes Professor John Bonsignore (1935-2011) who taught at and founded the legal studies curriculum at the University of Massachusetts.  Professor Bonsignore’s life and career has been memorialized by legal studies scholar Art Wolfe in his book Remembering John Bonsignore.

Professor Nichols exemplifies the spirit and aspirations of John Bonsignore. His research and teaching on emerging economies and on corruption draw from multiple disciplines, he asks students to look at the world in new ways, and his pro bono activities in dozens of countries, in which he often involves students, bring to his classes perspectives on justice and advocacy for the people of the world. For the past twenty-four years, Phil and his family have lived with undergraduate students in one of Penn’s College Houses, during which time they have shared in the undergraduate experiences of many hundreds of students. Phil Nichols has literally devoted his life to undergraduate education.

As a professor of legal studies and business ethics in the Wharton School, Nichols is a past president of the Academy of Legal Studies in Business and hosted the ALSB’s 2016 annual conference in San Juan. Puerto Rico. He is an internationally known expert and consultant in corruption, emerging economies, international trade and investment. His most recent publication is Promoting Creating Shared Value Strategies as a Tool for Controlling CorruptionIn Mastering Corruption: The Practitioner’s View, edited by Wolfgang Amann & Agata Stachowicz-Stanusch, (Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, 2019), pp. 147-165.

Professor Nichols also garnered the prestigious Hoeber Memorial Award at the 2020 ALSB Annual Conference.  This award recognizes the outstanding article in the 2019-2020 volume year of the four issues of American Business Law Journal (ABLJ), the flagship journal of the ALSB with an acceptance rate of less than 5%. Nichol’s award winning article is entitled Bribing the Machine: Protecting the Integrity of Algorithms as the Revolution Begins.

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is the oldest business school in the United States and one of the most influential in the world. Joseph Wharton included business law among the critical subject areas for the school, and it has been taught there since the school’s founding.

For more information about the ALSB, please contact: Professor Dan Herron, Executive Secretary,