neers like Thomas Camp, Gerald Rohlich, Donald O’Connor, and Gordon Maskew Fair. What did Fred have in common with these men? A lot—especially courage and resolve. Here’s an example.
At my invitation, Fred was one of four adventurous engineers who took a whitewater rafting trip down the Gauley River in West Virginia, the most difficult rafting river in the East. At high water, the Gauley River has Class V rapids. At the start of the trip, our guide cautioned us that our success in navigating the big rapids would depend on hard paddling to build up the velocity we would need to steer the raft. We made it through the first dozen or so scary rapids and then reached a Class V rapid, where photographers were waiting to record the event. Unlike many rafts before and after us, we did not capsize or lose anyone.
Looking at the photographs later, we saw that most of the self-proclaimed adventurers were hanging onto the raft for dear life. Fred was the only passenger with a paddle in the water. Commenting later, he said, “That is what we were supposed to do.” His statement was simple but profound. Fred remained focused on accomplishing a goal—in this case paddling—although he thought he was just doing his duty. In the same way, his commitment to his professional life established him as one of the eminent engineers of his era. Fred’s sense of responsibility was apparent in his career and in his commitments to his community, family, and friends. Such is a measure of his eminence.
His professional goals included helping his academic institutions become the best they could be. As a professor dedicated to excellence, he taught a full load of courses, brought in numerous research grants, mentored his students, and assisted his colleagues. He reached beyond his institutions to facilitate the practice of engineering on a broad scale, to assist government agencies in making environmentally sound decisions, all the while honing his own skills and expertise. He felt he had a responsibility to excel in his profession so he could have a greater impact. Finally, he felt he had a responsibility to maintain high personal standards, to live up to a professional code of conduct. As a result, prestigious professional societies awarded him their