A Clarkson Mosaic - page 255

Prof. Ray Powers.
With but three years of high school work, Alfred Raymond Powers
matriculated at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1903. As an undergraduate, he became
manager of the Musical Association, which controlled the Glee Club, the orchestra, and the
Mandolin Club. After graduating in 1907 with a BS in electrical engineering, he joined the
Westinghouse Company for a year in charge of special alternating current railway motor
testing. At the same time, he not only taught in the company night school, but also carried on
with his musical work in the capacity of musical director of the Glee Club. He returned to
Worcester for graduate work, and in 1909 received the degree of Electrical Engineer.
From there, he joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania under Dr. Spangler,
who, with the former director of Clarkson, William S. Aldrich, had designed the first floating
machine shop for the US Navy. After two years at Penn, Powers came to Clarkson as head of
the electrical engineering department. He stepped down as chairman in 1950, to resume
teaching as a full-time faculty member until 1956. He died on February 11, 1968, in the
Cedars Nursing Home in Ogdensburg at age 82.
He was a member of the American Society of Electrical Engineers, the American
Society of Mechanical Engineers, and was affiliated with Phalanx and Sigma Delta fraternity.
During one of his mechanical laboratories in his early years here on campus, Doc.
Powers had the students calibrate an anemometer. One of the class, not knowing what the
instrument was, looked it up in the dictionary and found that it was "a little wind machine." For
quite a while afterward, Doc. Powers was called "Annie,"- but not to his face.
Industrial Distribution.
At the request of Ernest Torrel, member of Clarkson's Board of
Trustees, and vice president of Syracuse Supply, Clarkson Vice President Lowell Herron
developed a curriculum that combined engineering with marketing to provide salesmen with
technical competence and marketing skills to sell their products effectively. President Van Note
The significant role of distribution in our economy is universally
recognized, and it was with key executives in this field that a special faculty
committee worked for nearly two years in framing this new curriculum.
With the approval of the faculty, the I.D. program was born in 1954, the first of its kind
in an accredited college. The first graduates in 1958 numbered 32. This totally new academic
program prepared these men for careers in the distribution areas of modern industry. By
combining the essential elements of the engineering sciences with those of business
administration, the new curriculum produced graduates who were uniquely qualified to fill
posts of responsibility for which adequate college training had not been available. In creating
this new curriculum, the committee created 18 new courses to meet the special needs.
Working for nearly two years to frame this program, a special faculty committee had
talked with business and industrial leaders. Needed were men who had a solid grounding in
engineering and related sciences so that they understood industrial processes and equipment,
but who also had a broad business administration training which enabled them to analyze an
industrial potential and transmit their findings to business executives and production
Herron became the first director of the program, and was followed by Harry J. Waters,
and then by Leonard Groeneveld who directed the program until 1973. At that time with its
enrollment at 183, Joseph Scaturro took over the program. Under his leadership, the enrollment
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