Gift of $500,000 from alumnus Douglas D. Danforth will establish a deanship in Syracuse University’s L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science
Gift of $500,000 from alumnus Douglas D. Danforth will establish a deanship in Syracuse University’s L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer ScienceFebruary 03, 2001Jonathan Hayjhay@syr.edu
Douglas D. Danforth ’47, retired chairman and CEO of Westinghouse Electric Corp., has created The Douglas D. Danforth Dean of Engineering and Computer Science deanship with a gift of $500,000 to the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) for the years of 2001 to 2005. “I am truly grateful for Doug’s support and generosity over the past several years that I’ve served as dean of the college,” says ECS Dean Edward A. Bogucz. “His guidance and knowledge have inspired me, and with his gift, I will be able to provide additional resources for student scholarships and programs.” Danforth was born and raised in the Syracuse area, and he majored in mechanical engineering as an undergraduate student at SU. In addition to course work in his major, Danforth actively pursued many other experiences on campus, including performing in several theatrical productions. Following his graduation in 1947, he held a succession of engineering and managerial positions with General Electric in South America. In 1955, he joined Westinghouse as executive vice president and general manager of Industria Electrica De Mexico in Mexico City. He continued to rise through the ranks at Westinghouse, ultimately becoming the company’s chairman and CEO. Under his guidance, Westinghouse became America’s 28th-largest company. Following his retirement from Westinghouse in 1987, Danforth was instrumental in organizing a coalition that purchased the Pittsburgh Pirates and kept the club from leaving Pittsburgh. He was chairman and CEO of the Pirates from 1987 to 1992 and was a recognized leader among club owners during a turbulent period in the history of Major League Baseball. Danforth is now a partner of AEA Investors Inc., a group of retired business executives that provides leadership expertise to enable moderately sized firms to grow.
Danforth has a long history of involvement with SU. He was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree from SU in 1998. He is a member of the Chancellor’s Council, an emeritus trustee (elected 1972) and a recipient of the George Arents Pioneer Medal (1988). Danforth has also served on the ECS and School of Management advisory boards. The Douglas D. Danforth Award for Quality in Manufacturing was awarded by ECS in Danforth’s honor to recognize enterprises demonstrating global leadership in their commitment to quality. “The vision of the College of Engineering and Computer Science is to earn recognition for programs that prepare leaders for a high-technology, knowledge-based, global community,” Bogucz says. “To me, Douglas D. Danforth stands as the exemplar of the ECS vision.”