News & Events
For Faculty & Staff
William Hurd Receives Clarkson University's Top Alumni Honor
[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/whurd.jpg .]
William J. Hurd of Mesquite, Nev., and Steamboat Springs, Colo., system architect for deep space communications systems, has received the Golden Knight Award from his alma mater, Clarkson University.
Presented each year during Reunion Weekend, Clarkson's most prestigious alumni award is given to alumni who have distinguished themselves either by service to Clarkson through Alumni Association activities or have demonstrated outstanding career achievement, bringing distinction to themselves and to Clarkson.
Hurd grew up in Uniondale, N.Y., and graduated from Hempstead High School. He lived from 1968-2008 in La Canada Flintridge, Calif.
Hurd received his bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Clarkson in 1961.
During his undergraduate studies at Clarkson, Hurd was a member of the Omicron Pi Omicron fraternity, and the Eta Kappa Nu and Tau Beta Pi honor societies.
After graduation, Hurd was awarded fellowships by the Hughes Aircraft Company, which enabled him to earn a master of science and Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering at the University of Southern California.
Hurd worked at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., before retiring after a distinguished 40-year career. He conducted research in several areas of deep space communications and in position locations systems, including the Global Positioning System. He was supervisor of the Digital Systems Research Group, deputy manager of the Communications Ground Systems Section and a principal system architect in the Interplanetary Network Directorate. Hurd received the NASA Exceptional Service Medal for technical and managerial leadership in development of the digital receiver-demodulator system, which has been used in the Deep Space Network for the past 20 years.
He holds six patents and is the author of 15 journals and 25 conference papers.
Along with his wife, Elaine, Hurd is active with several charitable and political organizations. Both have completed extensive educational programs in fundraising and Hurd is using this knowledge to serve as planned giving chair for his 50th reunion class. He is also a member of the Annie Clarkson Society.
The Hurds live in Mesquite, Nev., and Steamboat Springs, Colo., where they enjoy travelling, downhill skiing, golfing and other outdoor activities. William Hurd has two sons, Jeff and David, and two grandchildren.
Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five 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.
Photo caption: William J. Hurd of Mesquite, Nev., and Steamboat Springs, Colo., has received the Golden Knight Award from his alma mater, Clarkson University. Left to right: Clarkson University President Tony Collins, Hurd, and Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations Steve Newkofsky.