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Apkarian ’46 Earns RAA’s Highest Honor

The Rensselaer Alumni Association (RAA) bestowed its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, on Harry Apkarian ’46 at its 22nd annual awards dinner June 6. The DSA recognizes distinguished service by alumni or friends to Rensselaer, to a profession, to the nation, or to humanity.

“In the more than 60 years since graduating from Rensselaer, this indefatigable entrepreneur has distinguished himself as a visionary businessman, a peerless community leader, a generous mentor, a thoughtful benefactor, and a true son of Rensselaer,” said President Shirley Ann Jackson on presenting the award.

Apkarian co-founded Mechanical Technology Inc. in 1961 to develop and commercialize new technologies. He is currently chairman and CEO of TransTech Systems Inc., which he founded in 1994. Over the years, he has been adviser and board member to technology companies and community organizations. He was co-founder and director of the Capital Region Technology Development Council.

At Rensselaer, he was instrumental in the development of the Incubator and the Tech Park. He has served on the Institute board of trustees since 1969, as adjunct, active, and honorary trustee, and has been active in fund-raising and on advisory boards on campus.

“His work on behalf of his alma mater is tireless, his enthusiasm is ageless, his wisdom is timeless, and his impact on the university and the region’s new technology economy is historic,” said Jackson.

“This is a tremendous honor for me,” said Apkarian. He spoke about a life full of “miracles,” beginning with the administrator at Rensselaer who saw potential in him and enabled him to enroll.

“This place has been an inspiration; it’s been a passion; it’s been fun,” he said in closing. “And it’s not over yet.”

Alumni News

Demers Medalists

Classmates Brian McManus ’61, left, and Robert Forman ’61 were awarded Albert Fox Demers Medals, the RAA’s second highest honor, at the association’s 22nd annual awards dinner June 6. Also receiving Demers Medals but unable to attend the ceremony were Thomas Baruch ’60 and Robert Bozzone ’55.

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