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Ranny Ferguson '68 & Husband selected as Dignity & Respect Champions

Ranny  Jay FergusonRanny and Jay Ferguson Recognized as December Dignity & Respect Champions

Husband and Wife Partner in Commitment to Give Back to Community

(PITTSBURGH, PA) – Both strong advocates for the community, Ranny and Jay Ferguson work tirelessly to spread the notion that everyone deserves dignity and respect. They believe that an individual must value themselves, in order to value others.

"If we don't give value, dignity, and respect to children across all sorts of ethnicities, races, or economical background, and if they don't feel they have that kind of respect among their peers and among others, that is where things begin to break down. It is about commitment. If commitments aren't made, or aren't kept, there can be devastating effects. Accountability is as much a large part of inclusion as treating each other with dignity and respect," Jay said.

Nominated by chief inclusion and diversity officer, UPMC,Candi Castleberry-Singleton, Ranny and Jay have been selected as the December Dignity & Respect Champions for their dedication to giving back to the community.

"Ranny and Jay Ferguson are not only leaders, they are community citizens. Jay is authentically interested and involved in the initiatives his organization – Fifth Third Bank – supports. Jay's wife, Ranny, is his partner in their commitment to the community.They show up, whether it's a neighborhood event or a corporate reception. They walk the talk and write the checks,"Candi said.

In November, Jay became chairman of Fifth Third Bank of western Pennsylvania, where for eight years he served as president of the western Pennsylvania market. In addition, Jay currently serves on the boards of directors of the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children and UPMC St. Margaret Memorial Hospital, where he is vice chairman and treasurer of the Hospital's foundation.

Ranny retired after teaching at the University of Pittsburgh and The Ellis School, and is now a full-time community advocate.She volunteers with many organizations such as the Race for the Cure, The Children's Home of Pittsburgh, and Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, among others.

"I truly believe that supporting people and being involved with people in our community only strengthens the ties we have all among us, and it also strengthens Pittsburgh. I often feel that when I volunteer, I am the one who benefits. You give some of yourself, but you get so much back," Ranny said.

Jay and Ranny are modest about receiving the award, and credit their parents for teaching them about important values.

"We're honored and proud. Jay and I are both native Pittsburghers who were raised by professional parents, but ones who felt strongly about giving back to the community. They taught us about the value of each individual person." Ranny said.

Jay adds, "Respect and inclusion are one of Fifth Third's four core values. It is something that we instill in each of our employees and our recruits that come on board. This is something very important individually and as a corporation or organization. I think unless you manifest those kinds of values as a corporation, you may not do so as an individual."

The Dignity & Respect Campaign is an awareness initiative designed to join individuals, community leaders, community organizations, educational institutions, businesses, and corporations under the common notion that everyone deserves dignity and respect.

For more information and to take the Dignity & Respect Pledge, visit