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William Friend awarded Medal of Distinction

William L. Friend

Click here for low-resolution video from UD’s 155th Commencement. 

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4:25 p.m., May 29, 2004--Entrepreneur and businessman William L. Friend was awarded the University’s Medal of Distinction at the College of Engineering Convocation held in Gore Hall after Commencement on May 29.

After receiving his master’s degree in chemical engineering from UD in 1958, Friend began a distinguished 41-year career in international engineering and construction. Friend retired in 1998 as an executive vice president and director of the Bechtel Group.

Currently, Friend serves as a member of the National Academy of Engineering’s Committee on Diversity of the Engineering Workforce and as a member of the National Research Council’s governing board. He also serves as chairperson of the University of California’s President’s Council on the National Laboratories, which oversees Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore and Berkeley laboratories. In addition, Friend is a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and often lectures on project management at Georgetown University’s business school.

“Bill Friend—entrepreneur, businessman, mentor and true friend—we salute you for your numerous contributions to the international engineering and construction industry and for your leadership in the development of new technologies and their application in commercial facilities,” UD President David P. Roselle said in presenting the Medal of Distinction.

During the presentation, Roselle noted that Friend and his wife, Mary Kay, are generous supporters of the College of Engineering. Recently, the William L. Friend Professorship in the Department of Chemical Engineering was established with Babtunde Ogunaike as the first holder of that professorship.

The Medal of Distinction is presented to individuals of the state and region who have made humanitarian, cultural, intellectual or scientific contributions to society, have achieved noteworthy success in their professions or have given significant service to the University, the state and the region.

Photo by Kathy Atkinson

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