News & Events
Corporate Leader, Civil Engineer And Humanitarian Charles H. Thornton Awarded Clarkson Honorary Degree
[A JPEG image of Thornton receiving his degree is available via overnight delivery, e-mail and at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/thorntonhd.jpg]
Potsdam, N.Y. — Charles H. Thornton, co-chairman of The Thornton-Tomasetti Group Inc., received an honorary doctor of science degree at Clarkson University's 111th Commencement on Sunday, May 9.
In addressing the graduates, The Thornton-Tomasetti Group Inc. Co-Chairman Charles H. Thornton offered his blueprint for future success: "In your twenties, absorb everything you can --learn, observe, read and learn; in your thirties make relationships, develop bonds, look to become a manager and to develop skills that you did not learn at Clarkson; in your forties, run something, own something, manage it; and in your fifties, sixties and even seventies, start to give back and enjoy the fruits of your labor. I hope that all of you when you are out in the working world will mentor underprivileged high school boys and girls and get them into meaningful professions. I know from experience it will make you feel very, very, good."
The Thornton-Tomasetti Group Inc. is a 500-person organization providing engineering and architectural services, failure analysis, hazard mitigation, and disaster response services.
During his 43 years with the firm, Thornton has been involved in the design and construction of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of projects in the U.S. and overseas, ranging from hospitals, arenas and high-rise buildings, to airports, transportation facilities and special projects. Representative projects include: Chicago Stadium (Bulls and Blackhawks arena); Terminal No. 1 at JFK Airport; the 95-story Petronas Twin Towers of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, the world's tallest buildings; and the 50-story Chifley Tower in Sydney, Australia.
A recognized expert in the area of collapse and structural failure analysis, Thornton has led, for example, engineering investigations into the collapse of the Hartford Coliseum Space Truss Roof (1978) and the collapse of the New York State Thruway Schoharie Bridge (1987), and participated in the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Building Performance Assessment Team to investigate the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City (1996).
Thornton is on the visiting faculty at Catholic University and Manhattan College and has taught at Pratt Institute, Cooper Union, and Princeton University. He is chairman and founder of the ACE Mentor Program, a non-profit organization that, each year, offers guidance and training to inner city high school students in architecture, construction and engineering in 57 cities across the U.S. In addition, he is chairman of the Salvadori Center that each year educates over 2,000 New York City middle school students in mathematics and science using architectural and engineering principles. In October 2003, Thornton was elected to membership in Lambda Alpha International.
Clarkson University, located in Potsdam, New York, is an independent university with a reputation for developing innovative leaders. Its academically rigorous, collaborative culture involves 2,700 undergraduates and 350 graduate students in hands-on team projects, multidisciplinary research, and real-world challenges. Many faculty members achieve international recognition for their scholarship and research, and teaching is a priority at every level. For more information, visit http://www.clarkson.edu.