Photo: W. Selkirk Owen ’03 is the third from the left, top row.
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.
W. Selkirk Owen Award Recipients
This award was established in 1964 and presented for the first time in 1966.
- 2018 - David M. Bovet '70
- 2017 - Richard A. Gilmore '77
- 2016 - Richard Celotto '73
- 2015 - Richard P. Neilson '70
- 2014 - Arthur A. Burr '54
- 2013 - Alfred M. Zeien '52
- 2012 - Jay P. Carson '73
- 2011 - R. Keith Michel '73
- 2010 - Peter Van Dyke '60
- 2008 - Henry S. Marcus '65
- 2007 - Norman A. Hamlin '44B
- 2006 - Eugene R. Miller, Jr. '64
- 2005 - Peter A. Gale '59
- 2004 - Thomas N. Manuel '54
- Complete List
The Webb Alumni Association is pleased to present the fifty-third William Selkirk Owen Award to David Bovet.
Dave was sworn in as a Coast Guard officer, along with one-third of his class, at Webb on graduation day in 1970. He proceeded to Washington where he served as a project officer in Research and Development, supporting the marine safety program.
Despite the Coast Guard’s kind offer to send him on ocean station duty, Dave decided to head to Stanford Business School. He and his wife Maureen – they met in the Stevenson Taylor courtyard – spent two delightful years in California. He was then fortunate to join the World Bank in Washington as an economist. He traveled extensively in Africa, Asia, and Latin America working on rural development, education, and road projects.
The call of the marine industry was strong, however, and Dave next decided to join a management consulting firm with a strong reputation in the marine industry: Temple, Barker & Sloane (now Oliver Wyman). He moved his young family to Lexington, Massachusetts in 1981. He consulted on public enterprise rehabilitation projects in Africa, wrote oil spill response plans for tankers, helped the US position prevail at the 1984 IMO legal conference on international oil spill liability and compensation, and led logistics projects for companies in the US and Europe. Dave had the chance to co-author a book about supply chain strategy and to relocate to the Paris office for three years, 2001-2004. He then joined a spinoff consultancy, Norbridge, for ten years before founding his own firm, New Harbor Consultants, in 2015.
Dave spent many years as Class Agent. Since joining the Webb Board in 2011, he has worked on two strategic planning retreats (2012 and 2018), planning for the Couch Family Academic Center and drafting of two strategic plans. Dave is currently Chair of the Board’s Planning Committee. He attributes his modest success in large part to the lessons of hard work and teaming learned at Webb.
The Webb Alumni Association is pleased to honor David Bovet for his outstanding achievements and service to his profession and his Alma Mater.
Rich is Director Gas Fleet for Maran Gas Maritime Inc., the gas tanker business unit of the Angelicoussis Shipping Group Limited. Since 2004, he has been involved in all aspects of developing the LNG business and helped the company grow from a start-up to one operating a fleet of 26 LNG vessels with another 7 more under construction.
Prior to joining Maran, Rich worked for Energy Transportation Group, Inc. He began as a naval architect involved in inspection of Cryogenic Systems for a fleet of eight LNG carriers built at General Dynamics. He went through a succession of jobs in the areas of engineering, operations, marketing, new business development, finance and management, and rose to Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President at the company prior to his departure for his current position.
After going through the ranks, Rich served as President of the WAA from 1996-98, and was an active member on Webb’s Board from 2004-14. He has also been the Class Agent for 1977 since 1990. Rich remains instrumental in bringing Webb students onboard Maran Gas ships as cadets on MGM LNG ships. Rich also hires seniors during Winter Work affording them the opportunity to work overseas. He is active in The Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators, American Bureau of Shipping, The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, and has been a speaker/presenter at numerous world-wide LNG industry conferences.
Rich received an MBA degree in 1984 from Harvard Business School.
He lives in Greece with his wife, Mikko, and has two grown children.
The Webb Alumni Association is pleased to honor Richard A. Gilmore for his outstanding achievements and service to his profession and his Alma Mater.
The most special occasion of the Webb Alumni Association is the annual presentation of the W. Selkirk Owen Award at the Annual Banquet. It was an honor and privilege to present the award to Richard Celotto ’73 on behalf of the Alumni Association. Rich earned the award through his contribution to the profession in the US Navy and civilian service, his contribution to Webb Institute in countless ways, and his leadership among people. Keith Michel ’73 introduced Rich on behalf of Jay Carson ’73. Keith described a late ‘60s event that involved multi-colored vitamin pills, a Howard Johnson’s restaurant, and a trip to the local police station reminiscent of Alice’s Restaurant.
The Webb Alumni Association is pleased to present the fiftieth William Selkirk Owen Award to Richard P. Neilson.
Being a native Long Islander, Webb Institute caught his eye. Richard Neilson graduated from Webb Institute of Naval Architecture in 1970 and reported to the U.S. Coast Guard four days later to begin work in the Design Branch at USCG Headquarters. During his four years active duty, he participated in the design of polar icebreakers and also was the lead architect for the design of 140’ icebreaking tugboats. Upon the conclusion of his active duty, he went to the Apprentice School at Newport News Shipbuilding, where he taught naval architecture, marine engineering, and mathematics, and then to Sun Shipbuilding. In 1979 he returned to Webb Institute as a professor of naval architecture, and in 1981 received a master’s degree from Penn State University. In 1987 he returned to Newport News as Manager of the R&D Department and as Engineering Manager for the Sealift Conversion Program. In 1996 he went to work for ABS where for the next fifteen years he served as VP for Technology and Business Development, ABS Americas; VP of Engineering, ABS Europe; and then as VP ABS Corporate. Soon after announcing his plans to retire from ABS in the fall 2010, he was lured back to Webb Institute to become the Dean.
While a student at Webb he played basketball, actually winning a few games in his four years here. His ability to shoot left-handed layups and go to his left was amazing to watch — but then again he was left handed. Rick also served as a member of the Honor Council, and in his senior year as S.O. President. At his graduation he was awarded the Chaffee Memorial Prize for General Excellence.
Dean Rick Neilson and his wife Denise came to Webb in July of 2011. And did we get lucky. The ‘new’ Dean brought his own personality and experience, and, of course, the same kind of love of Webb and its students. As his students knew, he was available to discuss problems or issues and to help many of them get that winter work or summer job. As Dean he dealt with the faculty wisely and fairly, and was an admired and respected leader. In 2015, we were honored to have Dean Neilson as the 2015 Founder’s Day speaker; a speech that every incoming and graduating student should read.
Dean Neilson was a beloved Webb professor, colleague, and friend. There are three words that will come to mind when his former students and colleagues think of Dean Neilson — “SHIPS ARE NEAT!” Upon his retirement from Webb Institute in June 2015, Rick was named Faculty Emeritus. He and Denise are now settled into their retirement home in Kilmarnock, VA.
The Webb Alumni Association gratefully applauds Professor Emeritus Neilson’s outstanding achievements and service to his profession and his Alma Mater.
This year’s recipient of the William Selkirk Owen Award was Arthur Burr ‘54, who attended the 2014 Alumni Banquet with his wife, Marilyn. His classmates Paul Hayes, Tom Manuel, and Joe Signorelli and their wives joined them for this honor. Joe Signorelli presented introductory remarks about Art, who then took to the podium to accept the award.
The following is a reprint from the event’s program:
The Webb Alumni Association is pleased to present the forty-ninth William Selkirk Owen Award to Arthur A. Burr.
After graduation, Mr. Burr moved to Washington to work for Admiral Rickover. A few months later, after receiving his commission as a Navy Ensign, he married the lovely Marilyn, and they are still married 60 years later.
He worked under the Admiral for eight years, supervising the design of the nuclear reactor components and refueling equipment for our nuclear navy.
In 1962, his love of boats led him to transfer to the Bureau of Ships, Small Boat Division where he worked with his classmate Ken Spaulding, in designing and supervising construction of the Navy’s fleet of fiberglass boats. In 1963, fourteen months after their daughter was born, he and Marilyn started Burr Yacht Sales in their backyard, selling the Formula 233. In 1965, they made the scary plunge from a secure government job to self-employment in the marine business. In 1969, they became the Chesapeake Bay dealer for Bertram, a manufacturer of high end sport fishing boats. That relationship lasted for 29 years, and he served on the Bertram dealer council executive committee and was awarded Bertram Service Dealer of the Year on two occasions. In 1991, they became the East Coast distributer for Fleming Yachts, a Taiwanese manufacturer of world class long-range cruising yachts. He had purchased a marina property in Edgewater, Maryland, in 1974 where he and Marilyn lived until 1993, when they moved to their current residence on the St. Lucie River in Stuart, Florida. In 2008, he retired and transferred the business to its key employees. By then the business had annual sales approaching $30 million.
The Arthur & Marilyn Burr Junior Classroom, made possible by their generous donation, given in memory of departed classmates John Franklin and John Dalzell, Class of 1954, was dedicated on May 20, 2006. In addition, The Benjamin C. Keeler Reading Room “named in recognition of his brilliance and unique teaching style” was dedicated on May 19, 2007 as a result of a generous gift from Arthur & Marilyn Burr.
The Webb Alumni Association gratefully applauds Mr. Burr’s outstanding achievement and service to his profession and his Alma Mater.
Dr. Zeien is a 1952 graduate of Webb Institute of Naval Architecture. After attending the Master’s program at Harvard Business School he joined General Dynamics and rose to Operations Manager of the General Dynamics Shipyard in Quincy, MA. He left the marine field to begin a singularly successful career with The Gillette Company.
Alfred M. Zeien joined The Gillette Company, an international consumer products company, in 1968. He held various positions, including President and Chief Operating Officer and served as Chairman of the Board, from February 1991 to April 1999. During his tenure Gillette acquired Duracell and introduced the Mach 3 razor and increased its market capitalization ten-fold. Diverse institutions and companies benefited from his managerial wisdom through his service on their boards.
Webb was proud to award Alfred M. Zeien an honorary Doctor of Science degree in 1997.
Dr. Zeien endowed the Zeien Lecture Series in 2000. The purpose of the lecture series is to enhance student life by bringing in speakers on a wide variety of topics. Then, in 2011, through an endowed gift, Dr. and Mrs. Zeien created the Alfred M. Zeien Student Scholarship. The proceeds from the Zeien endowment offset the academic cost (tuition) associated with each year of the designated student’s education until he or she graduates.
The Webb Alumni Association gratefully applauds Dr. Zeien’s outstanding achievement and service to his profession and his Alma Mater.
The Webb Alumni Association awarded their highest honor, the William Selkirk Owen Award, to Mr. Jay P. Carson ’73 at the Alumni Banquet in Providence, RI, on October 26. Jay was introduced by Mr. Rich Celotto ’73, and Mr. Fred Harris, President, General Dynamics NASSCO, who related stories of their times together with Jay. Among other things, Rich explained why Jay should never loan a car to Rich again, and Mr. Harris mentioned Jay’s many business contributions while at NASSCO. Jay received the 47th William Selkirk Owen Award. One hundred eleven people attended the Banquet.
Jay is a 1973 Webb graduate who started his career as a marine engineer at Chevron Shipping in San Francisco. He attended graduate school at MIT and also received an MBA from Boston University. He then worked as planning supervisor at General Dynamics Quincy in Lexington, MA, before joining Temple, Barker and Sloane as a management consultant. Jay has also served as a manager and consultant for NASSCO in San Diego, CA, for many years. He retired from General Dynamics NASSCO as Vice President of Engineering in 2007 and continues to assist in business development and early-stage ship design. During his career, he has worked in both ship construction and repair for naval and commercial projects, which have taken him to Iran, Saudi Arabia, France, Great Britain, South Africa and South Korea.
For the past three years he has been a member of the Webb Institute Board of Trustee. As the Chairman of the Fine Arts Committee, he works to preserve Webb’s legacy assets and to expand our understanding of William Webb’s story and accomplishments. He has actively participated in the Planning Committee, developing white papers for the recent Strategic Planning Meeting held at Webb last May. Jay was proud to be invited to speak at last school year’s Founder’s Day dinner. Jay resides in El Cajon, CA. We are pleased to honor Jay P. Carson for his dedication to the marine profession and to his Alma Mater, Webb Institute.
Keith Michel ’73 has been selected by the WAA Executive Committee as the forty-fifth William Selkirk Owen Award recipient in recognition of his outstanding achievement and service to both the marine profession and Webb Institute. Keith will be honored with the award at the Annual Banquet in Houston on November 18th.
Keith’s dedication and service to the Institute has been exemplary as a member of the Webb Board of Trustees for 12 years, holding positions that included Chairman of the Education Committee and the Planning Committee. He currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Board. One of his hallmarks has been advocacy for broader participation by students and younger alumni.
Keith is Chairman of the Board of Herbert Engineering Corporation where he started his career 38 years ago, and is also a Past President of SNAME. He has more honors than can be listed here, including being recognized as a Fellow of the Society by SNAME in 1998. He has dozens of published technical papers, and in 2003 he and his co-authors were awarded the Vice Admiral E.L. Cochrane Award for the best paper published in Marine Technology. Keith also contributed to the new edition of Ship Design and Construction. He has actively participated in the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and is a member of the Marine Board of the National Academy of Sciences.
Keith is now the President of Webb Institute.
The Webb Alumni Association is pleased to present the forty-fifth William Selkirk Owen Award to Peter Van Dyke `60.
Peter is a 1960 Webb graduate who has worked in both the marine industry and investment management. He attended Washington Irving High School in Tarrytown, NY before coming to Webb. He played on Webb’s basketball and tennis teams, and upon graduation he was awarded the Samuel D. McComb Memorial Prize for having the second highest overall average. He then went to Harvard University from which he received a Ph.D. in Engineering and Applied Mathematics in 1964.
Over the next 21 years Peter held a series of marine industry and scientific jobs in the Baltimore area at Martin Company, Hydronautics Inc., and finally the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. His work utilized both the mathematical approach learned at Harvard and the practical approach learned at Webb.
In 1985, Peter entered the business world by accepting a job as a Quantitative Specialist at T. Rowe Price Associates in Baltimore, MD. He was able to apply his mathematics and engineering education to a whole new set of problems and achieve success. When he retired from T. Rowe Price in 1999 he was a Managing Director of the firm and responsible for some $35 billion in assets as head of the firm’s Taxable Fixed Income Department.
Peter has been on the Webb Institute Board since 1991; on the Executive Committee since 2000 and as Treasurer since 2004. However, it has been his role as Chair of the Investment Committee since 2001 where Peter has made a significant contribution, managing the endowment and steering its course during a period of tremendous market volatility. While the endowment suffered like most investments during both the “dot.com” bubble and housing bubble collapse, it bounced back better than most portfolios due to careful but aggressive management of the committee under Peter’s leadership.
Peter currently serves on a number of college and school boards and Finance Committees. He still manages investments through his own investment management firm, Delta Management, Inc.
Peter and his wife Judy maintain homes in Baltimore and Chestertown, Maryland. They have two grown sons.
We are pleased to honor Peter Van Dyke for his dedication to the marine profession and to his Alma Mater, Webb Institute.
On graduating from Webb Institute of Naval Architecture in 1965, Hank wanted to learn more about both engineering and management. He matriculated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he proceeded to get Master of Science degrees in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering as well as in Shipping and Shipbuilding Management (an area that would later be called Ocean Systems Management). Now in the mode of professional student, he continued on at Harvard Business School to obtain his doctorate.
Finally done gathering degrees, he accepted a faculty position at the University of Hawaii (UH) teaching transportation. He thoroughly enjoyed the sun and sand, but after one year he decided this wasn’t the best location to start his career. Consequently, he left “paradise” to teach and perform research at MIT (but returned to UH for two sabbaticals).
For the last 37 years he has been at MIT, working his way up through the ranks to Professor of Marine Systems and Chairman of the Ocean Systems Management area. His teaching has focused on shipping management and international logistics. His research has covered a wide range of topics sponsored by U.S. government agencies (including the Navy) as well as foreign governments, and a variety of private corporations in the U.S. and abroad. He has thoroughly enjoyed working with a continuous stream of Webb graduates who have typically been his students and research assistants in the MIT graduate program. He has authored or co-authored six books and numerous articles along the way and consulted extensively. Hank received a Teaching Excellence Award from the MIT Student Section in 1986. In addition, from 1991 to 2001 he was the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Professor of Ship Acquisition.
Over the years he has served as a Webb Class Agent and member of the Webb Alumni Executive Committee. Currently, he is a member of Webb’s Board of Trustees and the Industry Advisory Board. He is a SNAME fellow and served as the Co-Chairman, Technical Committee, for the 2003 World Maritime Technology Conference.
He has served on many National Academy of Sciences committees and chaired the one on Tank Vessel Design. Hank received an honorary Professorship from Shanghai Maritime University in 2004. He has served as a member of the Federal Transportation Advisory Group and as a member of the Marine Transportation Systems National Advisory Council.
Hank resides in Acton, MA with his wife, Edwina, of 40 years. They have a son, Daniel.
We are pleased to honor Hank Marcus for his achievements and dedication to the marine industry.
The Webb Alumni Association is pleased to present the forty-second William Selkirk Owen Award to Norman A. Hamlin ’44B. Unfortunately Norm passed away suddenly on October 29th, and with deep regret, the Association made the award posthumously.
Upon his graduation from Webb Institute of Naval Architecture in 1944B, Norm was commissioned as an Ensign in the US Naval Reserve and assigned to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. He served as a Ship Superintendent where he managed the overhaul of carriers, destroyers, and transports through 1946. He then went on to work for the Navy as a naval architect at the David Taylor Model Basin and pursued graduate studies in mathematics at Georgetown University. In 1948 Norm took a position with Bethlehem Shipbuilding Division’s Technical Department in Quincy, Massachusetts where he worked on a variety of commercial and naval ship designs, including the largest tanker built at the time. the S.S. Manhattan, the first commercial ship to cross the Northwest Passage. While at Bethlehem, he became head of the Hull Performance and Trials Section and Hull Performance Analysis and Hydrodynamics Section.
During this time, Norm pursued his Master of Science degree in Naval Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on a SNAME Scholarship. He earned the degree in 1951.
It was in 1964 that he began his teaching career at Webb Institute of Naval Architecture as Research Associate and then Research Professor of Naval Architecture in our Center of Maritime Studies and then as a full Professor of Naval Architecture in 1972. From 1966 to 1975, he was also a Special Lecturer and then Adjunct Professor in the Graduate Department of Marine Science at Long Island University. After many years of faithful service to Webb, he retired in 1987 to Maine.
Norm continued to serve Webb as a Class Agent until his death. He was a member of the Heritage Society, a Life Member of the Alumni Association, and a loyal contributor to the Annual Alumni Fund.
His professional interests included his ongoing involvement with SNAME in New England and New York, where he was a frequent technical discusser of presented papers. Norm authored and co-authored numerous papers for SNAME, MARAD, the U.S. Coast Guard, and for other publications and forums through the years.
Norm lived in Brunswick and S. Bristol, Maine, with his wife, Barbara, and leaves behind three children and five grandchildren.
We are pleased to honor the life of Norman A. Hamlin for his achievements and dedication to Webb and the marine industry.
The Webb Alumni Association is pleased to present the forty-first William Selkirk Owen Award to Eugene R. Miller ’64.
At his graduation from Webb Institute of Naval Architecture in 1964, Gene received numerous prizes and awards recognizing the highest honors and scholastic achievement in naval architecture and marine engineering; and for the second highest overall average.
Gene then attended MIT and was awarded an MS degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering in 1965.
He began his career when he joined the staff of Hydronautics, Inc. and remained with the company and its successor, Tracor Hydronautics until 1990. He served in various positions including Head of Ship Performance Department, Vice President and Technical Director. In 1991 he joined Advanced Marine Enterprises and has remained with successor companies Nichols Advanced Marine and Computer Sciences Corp. Advanced Marine Center. He is presently the Senior Principal Engineer and Technical Leader for the modeling and simulation group at CSC Advanced Marine. In this position he directs the design and development of ship bridge and navigation simulator systems for engineering and training applications. Gene has authored several SNAME papers and has been a member of various SNAME T&R committees and panels including Hydrodynamics, Resistance and Propulsion, Maneuvering and Small Passenger Vessels.
Mr. Miller was the WAA President from 2002-04. Since that time, Gene has remained a dedicated member of Webb’s Board of Trustees serving on numerous committees.
Gene resides in Clarksville, MD with his wife of 34 years, Tish. They have three children and two grandchildren.
We are pleased to honor Gene Miller for his achievements and dedication to the marine industry.
At his graduation from Webb Institute of Naval Architecture in 1959, Pete received numerous prizes and awards recognizing the highest honors and scholastic achievement in naval architecture and marine engineering; the second highest overall average, and the best naval architecture thesis. He then began a 29-year career as a Navy civilian. Shortly into that career, in 1964, he earned a Master of Science degree in Nautical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology. In 2004, Webb provided further academic distinction by bestowing on him an Honorary Doctor of Science degree.
Pete started his long Navy career at the Bureau of Ships but then served in its successor organizations, the Naval Ship Engineering Center (NAVSEC) and the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA). Rising through the ranks from a junior naval architect to the highest level of government employment as a member of the Senior Executive Service, he held the positions of Head of the Preliminary Design Division, Technical Director of the Ship Design Group, Deputy Directory of the Hull Engineering Group, and Chief Naval Architect of the U.S. Navy. He retired from the Navy civilian corps in 1988 having played a key role in the design process for a host of naval vessels.
In 1988, Pete returned to Webb Institute and taught naval architecture and ship design courses for three years, passing on his knowledge, experience, and wisdom to future generations of ship designers. The lure of design brought him back to its practice in 1991 when he joined John J. McMullen Associates as its Chief Naval Architect for Naval Ship Design & Engineering. At JJMA, he demonstrated outstanding skill in ship design management and consulting. Among the most significant programs he led in this phase of his career were the Arsenal Ship design effort, the U.S. Coast Guard’s Deepwater program surface asset designs, and the Navy’s newest destroyer designs for the DD21 and DD(X). Since retiring in April 2004, he continues to perform valuable consulting work in support of our nation’s naval ship design programs.
In addition to these superb achievements, Pete has served our profession by publishing numerous papers in various professional societies. The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers recognized his contributions by awarding him the American Bureau of Shipping Captain Joseph Linnard Prize for the best paper presented at its 1989 annual meeting. SNAME then honored him in 2001 with the award of the David Taylor Medal for notable achievement in Naval Architecture. He has often been referred to as “the naval architect’s naval architect”, praise which is most high and most deserved. Pete has also served Webb as a class agent since 1997.
Pete resides in Silver Spring, MD with his wife Jo Ann of 37 years. They have four children and two grandchildren.
We are pleased to honor Peter A. Gale for his achievements and dedication to the marine industry.
The Webb Alumni Association is pleased to present the thirty-ninth William Selkirk Owen Award to Thomas N. Manuel ’54. Tom’s career in the marine industry began at Texaco’s Marine Department in NYC in 1954 where he reported to Dave Butts, Webb ‘44B, and worked on the design and construction of large tankers, in the US and overseas, and the design and construction of oil barges for intercostals service. Tom also specialized in aspects of corrosion control and ship coatings for Texaco.
In 1960, Tom joined the comptroller’s department of Standard Oil of New Jersey, in NYC, as a programmer trainee in the new world of business computers. He advanced to programmer, systems programmer, and finally headed the SONJ Systems Development Office, within the comptrollers department. During this time, the organization grew from a small staff of twelve to a separate SONJ holding company responsible for business data processing for the parent firm and its overseas affiliates.
During this same time period, Tom was very active in the Webb Alumni Association. He was on the WAA Executive Committee from 1955-1968, finishing the 14 years of service to the Alumni Association as President in 1966-68, and the first awarding of the W. Selkirk Owen Award in November of 1966, by then retired WAA president, Mike Costagliola. During this time, the WAA began holding annual meetings at Webb, and initiated the May Webb Homecoming. This event is still so very popular today.
In 1967, Tom left the protective environment of Standard Oil of NJ and ventured into the world of small, exciting, computer consulting companies, founded on enthusiasm and blind faith. Tom pioneered with information collection and display systems, including computer run scoreboards for baseball and football, and bond and stock trading and reporting computer systems. Tom returned to the larger company arena with managerial stints in Philadelphia with the new Franklin Mint (mail order made for the computer), and Rohm & Haas in the corporate systems development department. In 1979 he joined with his early computer associates in NYC and opened a Philadelphia Branch of Lambda Consulting. This was very quickly to become his business utopia with a growing and profitable office. In 1985, the entire company was sold to General Electric and Tom retired in 1986.
In a last fling, Tom bought a local family canvas products business to challenge his entrepreneurial skills once again. It turned out to be interesting, challenging and very profitable. Tom quadrupled the business over seven years and then sold the growing operation to a family with young, eager entrepreneurs.
During this long time period, Tom participated as a class representative, transferred that job to another classmate, who in turn, passed it back to Tom due to illness. He continues to contact his classmates frequently. The class has performed at 100% for many years in the WAA fundraising campaigns, topping out with a 50th anniversary gift of 4 sailing dinghies to Webb this past spring at Homecoming.
W. Selkirk Owen Award – Complete List
2018 – David M. Bovet ’70
2017 – Richard A. Gilmore ’77
2016 – Richard Celotto ’73
2015 – Richard P. Neilson ’70
2014 – Arthur A. Burr ’54
2013 – Alfred M. Zeien ’52
2012 – Jay P. Carson ’73
2011 – R. 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
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