Even before his first day of classes at Penn, Luke Butler joined the Philadelphia mayoral campaign of underdog reformer Michael Nutter. The public policy graduate student spent far more time at campaign headquarters than in the classroom – and once Nutter won, Butler was named special assistant to the mayor and then chief of staff to the deputy mayor. After a stint at social commerce platform Curalate, he came to Comcast NBCUniversal, where he helps lead the media giant’s LIFT program for tech startups at its soaring Philadelphia headquarters. “This city that I knew virtually nothing about and did not plan to live in has given me a career with a lifetime of experiences,” he says. “All of this is because of the Thouron Award.”