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05-14-2000

Eugene D. Jones Of Wilton Awarded Clarkson University Honorary Degree

Potsdam, N.Y. -- Retired URS Greiner Woodward Clyde Senior Vice President Eugene D. Jones received an honorary doctor of science degree at Clarkson University's 107th Commencement in Potsdam, N.Y., on Sunday, May 14.

The degree was awarded “for his distinguished achievement as a large-scale project engineer and as a role model, and for his critical guidance in the physical expansion of Clarkson University’s hill campus.”

In addressing the graduates Jones said in part, “… First, understand and appreciate technology.  Speaking as an engineer, its presence is felt in every part of your life today and it always will be.  Treat it as a resource and ally.  Enhance it with your special view of its impact on our everyday lives.

“Second, keep an open mind.  It’s the only way to keep your outlook fresh and to make decisions that aren’t weighed down by biases and preconceived notions.

“Third, believe in your ideas and be persistent in pursuing them.  You can’t persuade others to believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself.

“Fourth, to those of you who are both politically active and vocal, consider politics as a useful calling.  There is an old saying that says, ‘Democracy is not a spectator sport.’ You can make it work more efficiently.  America as well as other countries are always looking for good leaders.  You could be among them.

“And finally, be honest with yourselves and with those around you.  Whatever you do in life, you and those you deal with can only benefit if you maintain the courage that is honesty’s prerequisite… “said Jones in addressing the graduates.”

Eugene D. Jones retired as senior vice president in 1999 from URS Greiner Woodward Clyde. A transportation specialist, he has directed some of the largest and most visible engineering projects completed during the past 50 years. They include the Morgantown West Virginia Personal Rapid Transit System; the Southwest Corridor Transit Project in Boston; and the Lindenwold Transit Line in
Southern New Jersey.

Jones helped organize and was the first chairman of the American Consulting Engineers Council (ACEC) National Committee on Minority Employment. He also chaired the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) National Committee on the Economic Status of the Civil Engineer, and was a member of the Industry Advisory Board for the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

In Connecticut, Jones was appointed by the governor as a panel chairman on transportation to establish an Environmental Policy for Connecticut, to the Commission on Excellence in Education, and to a Special “Blue Ribbon” Committee for the establishment of a new Science Center in Hartford.

He has also served on the board of directors of Northeast Utilities and Aquarion Company; the board of trustees for Sarah Lawrence College, the Goodspeed Opera House, and the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk; and the board of engineering visitors at the University of New Haven.

Jones received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from New York University’s College of Engineering. In May 1990, Green Mountain College awarded him an honorary doctor of humane letters. During World War II, he served as a Transportation Corps officer in the United States Army.

A Clarkson Trustee since 1989, he has served on a variety of board committees, including his service as chair of the Physical Plant Committee, and has played an integral role in the expansion of Clarkson’s Hill campus.

Clarkson University is an independent institution located in northern New York, in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. The University has 2,902 graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in its schools of Business, Engineering, Liberal Arts and Science.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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