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Clarkson University Alumnus & Former Trustee Endows Director Position in Construction Engineering Management

Clarkson University alumnus Howard Lechler '48, MS '53, HD '78 of Raleigh, N.C., has continued his generous support of Clarkson by providing a significant gift to name the "Howard Lechler '48, MS '53, HD '78 Director in Construction Engineering Management Endowment" at Clarkson University.
The directorship will support a permanent director position to maintain and strengthen the Construction Engineering Management (CEM) Program.
Lechler graduated from Clarkson in 1948 with a degree in civil engineering after serving 34 months in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He worked as a structural engineer until 1950 when he returned to Clarkson to earn his master of science degree in civil engineering in 1952 and remained at Clarkson as an assistant professor for one year.

Lechler received the Golden Knight Award, the Alumni Association’s highest honor, for service to his alma mater in 1968 and received an honorary doctorate recognizing his significant achievements in life in 1978. He served as a Clarkson trustee from 1974 until 1984 and is currently a trustee emeritus.
“Howard Lechler is truly a committed alumnus whose generosity has touched countless students and staff members at Clarkson University over many decades,” said Clarkson President Tony Collins. “This gift exemplifies the pride and loyalty Howard has for Clarkson and his belief in the Construction Engineering Management Program.”
The Construction Engineering Management Program had its official start in 1998, but Clarkson University has been nationally recognized for its leadership in the construction industry for many years, as evidenced by several high level alumni appointments.

Spence Thew ’63, founder of Atlantic Testing Laboratories in 1967, was one of the first faculty members in 1968 to focus on construction engineering. The program was put on a strong trajectory of sustained growth with the appointment of Erik Backus as the first full- time director in 2014.
“The opportunity to be a part of building CEM at Clarkson into a state-of-the art educational program that will produce high-caliber civil engineers proficient in emerging construction engineering management practices, would not be possible without the generous support of Howard Lechler,” said Backus, the first Howard Lechler ’48, MS ’53, HD ’78 Director in Construction Engineering Management.    

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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