Newark, N.J.   Friday, January 17, 1997 -- State Senator John H. Ewing of Bedminster, one of New Jersey's foremost champions of education for nearly three decades, and humanitarian Otto H. York of Madison received honorary doctorate degrees today during New Jersey Institute of Technology's winter commencement.
Approximately 636 students were bestowed bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in fields such as engineering, management, computer science, architecture and related technological disciplines. NJIT awards degrees in October, January and May each year.
"Today, NJIT presented honorary doctorates to two individuals who should serve as role models for our young people," said Saul K. Fenster, university president. "John Ewing and Otto York have made incalculable contributions to improving the quality of life in New Jersey. For nearly three decades John Ewing has been a leading voice on educational issues, while Otto York's career has focused on chemical process improvement, business development, and evironmental technology. NJIT is proud to count both of them among our distinguished alumni."
John H. Ewing, who received the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, has helped raise the level of excellence in the state's schools, colleges and universities. As a member of the Senate Education Committee for 18 years, including serving as chair since 1992, Ewing has been a prime sponsor of legislation related to educational facilities, school bus safety, student aid, the prevention of alcohol and drug abuse, and child custody.
Ewing was the sponsor of the NJIT Act of 1995 which redefined the university's relationship with the State of New Jersey.
Ewing also serves on the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, the Joint Committee on Public Schools, the Policy Board of the New Jersey Statewide Systemic Initiative to Improve Mathematics and Science Education, and the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology.
Before beginning his career in public service, Ewing had a 25-year business affiliation with Abercrombie & Fitch Company, from which he retired as Chairman of the Board in 1965. He has applied his background as an advocate for good business practices and fiscal responsibility in state government. Ewing gives freely of his time to community service on the boards of organizations such as the New Community Foundation in Newark, Friends of Teen Arts, and the Princeton Child Development Institute.
Otto H. York, who received the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, has made a mark on the chemical processing industry during a 60-year career as chemical engineer, inventor and entrepreneur. With a genius for both technical innovation and business, he became a leader in the field of gas/liquid and liquid/liquid separations and created a multi-million dollar industry.
With a $1,000 loan, he launched the Otto York Company in 1947 based on his invention of the York Mesh Demister, a knitted wire mesh pad that removes mist from a gas stream. The device revolutionized the field of gas/liquid separation in the chemical processing industry. The device, which dominates the market and accounts for about two-thirds of the demisters sold worldwide, has saved of billions of dollars in the petrochemical, chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Applications have also extended to the food industry and desalination plants.
York later expanded the demister idea into liquid/liquid applications, and developed continuous co-current and counter-current solvent extraction equipment. Throughout his career, he applied sound chemical engineering principles to develop viable commercial products. He demonstrated a talent for recognizing problems within process systems and fashioning solutions for them. Although he sold his company to Foster Wheeler Corporation in 1984, the Otto York Company still bears his name, and he continues to support the firm.
Through the Otto H. York Foundation Inc., he has supported humanitarian causes in healthcare, education and environmental research. A friend and supporter of NJIT for more than three decades, he has made possible substantial improvements to university facilities. In his honor, NJIT dedicated the Otto H. York Center for Environmental Engineering and Science, which houses the largest university-based hazardous waste management research program in the nation.
NJIT is a public research university enrolling nearly 7,900 bachelor's, master's and doctoral students in 67 degree programs through its five colleges: Newark College of Engineering, School of Architecture, College of Science and Liberal Arts, the School of Industrial Management and the Albert Dorman Honors College.
For more information contact: The Office of Public Relations, (973) 596-3434
Release number: #3204B