Earns RAA's Highest Honor
Heffner '56, congratulates Neal Barton '58.
Alumni Association awarded its highest honor, the Distinguished Service
Award, to Neal Barton '58 at the association's annual awards dinner June
4. Barton is the 31st recipient of the award, which recognizes exemplary
service to Rensselaer, to a profession, to the nation, or to humanity.
Sam Heffner '56, chairman of Rensselaer's board of trustees, presented
the award to Barton, who on June 30 completed 14 months as acting president
of the Institute.
"Neal took on the acting presidency with all the talent, enthusiasm,
and wonderful warmth of his personality," said Heffner. Heffner remarked
that during his tenure, Barton had raised the curtain on the 175th Anniversary
celebration, that Rensselaer had raised more gifts than in any other non-campaign
year, and that the Institute had recruited one of the largest freshman
classes in recent memory, and all of the highest quality.
"Neal, you've done it all," said Heffner. "We are very, very proud
of you. With all the heartfelt thanks that the Rensselaer community can
muster, I again say thank you, thank you, thank you."
Barton expressed gratitude to the alumni association and to his
sponsor, Heffner. "The idea of being the recipient of this Distinguished
Service Award was something I never thought of," said Barton. "I am extremely
"Two things I see as an alumnus are the importance of giving back
and the rewards of giving back," said Barton. "I believe with the right
attitude and the right heart, a lot of things can be done and be done
Barton, who has been a trustee of Rensselaer since 1991, is a former
president and CEO of Dorr-Oliver Inc., which designs and manufactures
machinery for specialized processes in the food, environmental, mineral,
pulp and paper, and chemical industries. He received his bachelor's, master's,
and doctoral degrees in metallurgical engineering from Rensselaer. Barton
chaired the volunteer committee for the successful fund-raising campaign,
completed in 1996, to renovate the Walker Laboratory as a state-of-the-art
chemical laboratory and classroom facility.
In honor of Neal and Carolyn Barton's contributions to Rensselaer,
the new residence hall being constructed on campus will be named Barton
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