Press Release

Steven S Reinemund, Retired Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo, to Receive 2022 Horatio Alger Award

Carly Buggy
484-385-2913 (office)

Steven S ReinemundRetired Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo, to Receive 2022 Horatio Alger Award 

Horatio Alger Association names 16 outstanding individuals, each of whom has overcome adversity to achieve professional and personal success, to its Member Class of 2022 

WASHINGTON, D.C. Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals and encouraging youth to pursue their dreams through higher education, today announced that Steven S Reinemund, Retired Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo, has been selected for membership in this prestigious organization. Mr. Reinemund joins 15 other exceptional business, civic and cultural leaders from across North America in receiving 2022 honors. For more than 70 years, the Horatio Alger Award has been annually bestowed upon esteemed individuals who have succeeded despite facing adversities, and who have remained committed to higher education and charitable efforts in their communities. 

After his father passed away suddenly when he was just six years old, Mr. Reinemund began taking on household tasks to support his family. By the time he was in fifth grade, he worked as a janitor for a small company, sweeping floors and cleaning bathrooms, and also delivered newspapers in the early mornings and eveningsHe dedicated himself to developing as a scholar, athlete and leader and achieved his life long dream of going to The U.S. Naval Academy. He graduated from Annapolis in 1970. Mr. Reinemund served for five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and had the opportunity to work as a Social Aide in the White House during the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. 

In 1986, Mr. Reinemund was named president and CEO of Pizza Hut North America, where he introduced home delivery as a distribution method, overtaking the market share of rival Domino’s Pizza within two years of service. In 1999, Mr. Reinemund was promoted to the chairman and CEO of PepsiCo where, during his tenure, revenues grew by $9 billion and net income rose 70 percent. In 2008, he turned his focus to higher education and accepted a job as Dean of the Business School at Wake Forest University. During his tenure, the school transformed its approach to business education by integrating the undergraduate and graduate facilities, instilling a stronger focus on career development and emphasizing the importance of leadership, ethics and diversity. Additionally, Mr. Reinemund led the design, construction and complete funding of a new building to house the expanded business school. He retired from the position in 2014, but continues to serve on the corporate boards of ExxonMobil, Marriott International, Wal-Mart, Goldman Sachs Acquisition Holdings Corp. and Chick-fil-A. 

Steven Reinemund exemplifies all of the attributes that we look for in a Horatio Alger Member,” said Terrence J. Giroux, executive director, Horatio Alger Association. His story and his lifelong passion for education will serve as an inspiration to our Scholars.” 

Mr. Reinemund’s dedication to education can be noted throughout his philanthropic work. While Dean of Business at Wake Forest, Mr. Reinemund donated more than $2 million of his personal funds to the construction of the Business School building. Additionally, while at the University, he developed a one year-master’s business degree, designed to build a classroom of students who represent the racial and gender makeup of the workplace with the core goal of every student having a job upon graduation. In 2016, following the death of his mother, he created the Beautiful Day Scholarship at the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation in her memory. Each year, deserving students raised by single mothers and whose mother or father served in the Marine Corps are awarded up to four years of college tuition. He also continues to contribute to other initiatives of the U.S. Naval Academy and the Naval Academy Preparatory School. 

The Horatio Alger Association’s mission of providing scholarship assistance to deserving young people is something that I felt immediately connected to,” said Mr. Reinemund. Higher education has long been my passion, and I am grateful to become a part of an organization that makes it attainable for so many deeply deserving young people. 

Thanks to the generosity of its Members, the Association awards need-based scholarships to outstanding high school students who are committed to pursuing higher education and giving back to their communities. The Association also educates young people about the limitless opportunities afforded to them by the free-enterprise system through hard work, honesty and determination. Like Association Members, Horatio Alger Scholars have faced significant adversities, but have also displayed unmatched resilience in overcoming their challenges. Since the scholarship program was established in 1984, the Horatio Alger Association has provided more than $235 million to 35,000 students in need, all of which has been funded solely through the generosity of Association Members and friends. 

Mr. Reinemund and the Member Class of 2022 will be formally inducted into the Association on April 7-9, 2022, during the Association’s 75th Horatio Alger Award Induction Ceremonies in Washington, D.C. The annual three-day event honors the achievements of both Members and National Scholars, affording both groups the opportunity to meet and interact as well as exchange stories of hardships and triumphs. 

For more information about Horatio Alger Association and its Member Class of 2022, please visit and follow the organization on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. 


About Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans:  

Founded in 1947, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc. is dedicated to the simple but powerful belief that hard work, honesty and determination can conquer all obstacles. The Association honors the achievements of outstanding leaders who have accomplished remarkable successes in spite of adversity by bestowing upon them the Horatio Alger Award and inducting them as lifetime Members. Horatio Alger Members support promising young people with the resources and confidence needed to overcome adversity in pursuit of their dreams through higher education. Through the generosity of its Members and friends, in 2020, the Association awarded more than $21 million in undergraduate and graduate need-based scholarships to 2,500 students across the United States and Canada and provided college support and mentoring services to its Scholars. Since 1984, the Association has awarded more than $235 million in undergraduate, graduate, military veteran and career and technical education scholarships to more than 35,000 deserving students. For more information, please visit


Our Members

Horatio Alger Members are part of a select group of individuals who have experienced a wide spectrum of what life can offer. Similar to characters in stories by Horatio Alger, Jr., they traditionally have started life in “humble” or economically challenging circumstances.

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Our Scholarship Programs

The Association administers more than 70 undergraduate and graduate need-based scholarship programs.

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