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Engineering alumni honored with hall of fame

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Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 12:41 am

On Thursday, the Cal Poly Pomona College of Engineering held a Hall of Fame induction ceremony in front of Building 17. The event honored 22 of CPP’s most distinguished engineering alumni with personalized Hall of Fame plaques, commemorative sport coats and words of acknowledgement from CPP President Michael Ortiz and College of Engineering Dean Mahyar Amouzegar.

The event was, in part, organized harmoniously with recent activities taking place on-campus celebrating the university’s 75th anniversary.

Over the years, the College of Engineering has become CPP’s most prestigious program due to the post-graduation successes of its former students. The reputation of the school is thus well-respected, making the selection of 22 inductees a challenge for organizers such as Amouzegar.

“Given the rich history of the college, it was extremely difficult to choose only 22 individuals from the list of approximately 200 highly accomplished candidates, out of more than 25,000 engineering alumni that have graduated in our 55-year history,” said Amouzegar. “The Hall of Fame honors and preserves the outstanding accomplishments and contributions of individual engineers who have close affiliation with the College of Engineering and have distinguished themselves in the engineering or academic community through their leadership and professional achievements and have brought distinction to the programs of the College of Engineering.”

The inductees make up the first class for the engineering hall of fame and include: Publisher and CEO of The Los Angeles Times, Eddy W. Hartenstein; former Vice President and General Manager of Hewlett-Packard, Thomas Vos; Senior Vice President of the Exxon Mobil Chemical Company, Lynne Lachenmyer and Director of Gas Engineering Southern California Gas Company, Joseph M. Rivera.

Recognition of the inductees’ accomplishments is paramount in shaping the future for current students at CPP said Amouzegar.

“We believe this class clearly attests to the quality of the learn by doing philosophy and the innovative spirit of Cal Poly Pomona graduates,” said Amouzegar.

Ortiz addressed those in attendance on the significance of such an event and officially admitted the 22 inductees into the Hall of Fame.

“The presence of these individuals, with all of their accomplishments as graduates and alumni of this institution, will show you that this really is a very special community we have here at Cal Poly Pomona,” said Ortiz. “The College of Engineering has really become the face of the university and the evolution of the college has been enormous and has had a tremendous impact on the region and on the nation.”

Inductee James R. Williamson is one of the many honorees with a multi-disciplinary background. Williamson graduated with an electrical engineering degree in 1982 and went on to become the vice president of technology standards at Sony Electronics. Williamson is also recognized for being the guitarist for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame rock band Iggy and the Stooges in the 1970’s.

“I am truly honored to be in such a ceremony as a Hall of Fame here at Cal Poly,” said Williamson. “I think it’s a brilliant idea and I can’t wait to see my picture on the wall, I am very pleased. My advice to students today would be to look at every possibility for a job, no matter what. In 20 years from now you might notice the passions that you didn’t pursue will be the thing you regret.”

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