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McGlade '76, '80G extols value of leadership skills



John McGlade '76, '80G, left, reviews student research at the Mohler Lab open house

The knowledge and technical expertise students acquire through their studies in Lehigh’s Industrial and Systems Engineering Department (ISE) are important, said John McGlade ‘76, ‘80G, President, Chairman and CEO of Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.

But they’re not enough, McGlade told current students during the recent 60th anniversary celebration of ISE.

“Leadership skills or life skills are as important as the technical skills you are taught today,” said McGlade, who is also a member of the Lehigh Board of Trustees and a member of the leadership team for the SteelStax performing arts complex. “What can you begin today that will prepare you to survive and thrive through the inevitable twists and turns of life and your career?

“Graduating from Lehigh University is not the end of your education but rather a beginning; learning is a lifetime experience and leadership skills are critical—a good idea is not enough," he said.

During his talk, which was titled "A Good Idea is Not Enough," McGlade shared his recollections of the industrial engineering department and how it prepared him for his current role. The talk, presented as part of the Spencer C. Schantz Distinguished Lecture Series, was the highlight of a full day of events that included an open house and panel discussion, all culminating with a gala reception and banquet.

During the open house, invited alumni and guests toured Mohler Lab, where they reviewed research posters and demonstrations from ISE faculty and students. Following the open house, visitors participated in a panel discussion about the past, present and future of the ISE field.

The panel discussion featured McGlade, Deborah Halkins ‘83, Director of Management Engineering at Lehigh Valley Health Network, George Kledaras ‘87, founder of CecilRep and FIX Flyer who serves on the Lehigh Board of Trustees, Stephen Senkowski ‘73, President of Armstrong World Industries and Louis Martin-Vega, Dean of the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University.

Following McGlade’s lecture, guests attended a reception and banquet dinner in Iacocca Hall. Emory Zimmers, professor of industrial and systems engineering and founder of the Enterprise Systems Center, was recognized for mentoring ISE students for more than 35 years. Mikell P. Groover, professor of industrial and systems engineering, was also honored as the first Ph.D. graduate of the department exactly 40 years ago.

The Industrial and Systems Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award was given to McGlade, and Gary Whitehouse ‘60, ‘62G, was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award for achievements in Industrial and Systems Engineering in academia. A native of Trenton, New Jersey, Whitehouse was a former Lehigh faculty member and served as chair of the University of Central Florida's Industrial Engineering and Management Systems Department and dean of UCF's College of Engineering.

Please visit the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department Web site for more information on the event.

~ Amanda Fabrizio

Posted on Thursday, April 23, 2009

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