W. Selkirk Owen Award

W. Selkirk Owen was born in Athens, Georgia in 1884 and received his elementary education from the Baltimore, Maryland public schools. He entered "Webb's Academy and Home for Shipbuilders" in 1900 and graduated in 1903. After spending a year at sea, he went to Scotland where he earned a B.S. in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from the University of Glasgow in 1907.

Returning to America in 1908, Owen became active as a naval architect in several shipyards before being appointed Professor of Naval Architecture and Dean of Faculty at Webb in 1928, a position he retained for 22 years. In addition to teaching and administering the academic program, Professor Owen undertook private consulting work and served as expert witness in several admiralty court cases.

During his years at Webb, he enhanced the curriculum to that of an accredited engineering college, was part of the relocation efforts from the Bronx to Glen Cove, and laid plans for post-graduate education. His own high standards were reflected in the calibre of Webb graduates, who were often epitomized as "technicians of the highest order." For 22 years, he went beyond the realm of teaching by being a counselor and a friend to all students. He viewed a Webb graduate not only in terms of professional expertise but a gentleman and a leader as well. Due to his character, sense of honor and dedication to Webb and the Alumni Association, Webb Institute has gained much of its strength and professional image. It is only fitting that a tribute to his memory be created and that the William Selkirk Owen Award be the Alumni Association's highest honor presented to a graduate in recognition of outstanding achievement and service to the profession and his/her Alma Mater.

The following distinguished alumni have received this honor, which was established in 1964 and presented for the first time in 1966:


2014     Art Burr '54

2013    Dr. Alfred M. Zeien, Sc.D. (Hon)
2012    Jay Carson '73
2011    Keith Michel '73
2010    Peter Van Dyke `60
2009    Lincoln D. Cathers ‘56
2008    Henry S. Marcus ‘65
2007    Norman A. Hamlin ‘44B
2006    Eugene R. Miller, Jr. ‘64
2005    Peter A. Gale ‘59 & ‘04 (Hon.)
2004    Thomas N. Manuel ‘54
2003    John A. Malone ‘71
2002    Roger H. Compton ‘61, PG'64
2001    Duane H. Laible ‘62
2000    Richard W. Thorpe, Jr. ‘55
1999    Richard A. Goldbach ‘58
1998    Albert M. Martinson ‘53
1997    Donald L. Caldera ‘57
1996    Robert D. Goldbach ‘58
1995    William duBarry Thomas ‘51
1994    Joseph J. Cuneo ‘57
1993    John J. Nachtscheim ‘47
1992    Thomas H. Bond ‘45
1991    Ronald K. Kiss '63
1990    Lawrence R. Glosten ‘40
1989    Eugene Schorsch ‘52
1988    Lawrence W. Ward PG'51
1987    Charles G. Visconti ‘55
1986    Robert G. Mende ‘51
1985    Edward M. MacCutcheon ‘37
1984    Victor W. Bethge ‘53
1983    Richards T. Miller ‘40
1982    Cedric Ridgely-Nevitt ‘39
1981    Robert Taggart ‘42
1980    Edward Renshaw ‘44A
1979    A. Dudley Haff ‘37
1978    Frank J. Joyce ‘44A
1977    Paul E. Atkinson ‘42
1976    Clifford E. Hoitt ‘34
1975    Jens T. Holm ‘41
1974    William J. Dorman ‘35
1973    Owen H. Oakley ‘37
1972    James J. Henry ‘35
1971    Jeremy B. Blood ‘22
1970    John A. Livingston ‘24
1969    Thomas M. Curran ‘25
1968    Frank M. Lewis ‘17
1967    John A. Niedermair ‘18
1966    Martin G. Kindlund ‘01