CORVALLIS - Oregon State University will confer an honorary doctoral degree on civil engineering alumnus James W. Poirot during OSU's commencement on Sunday, June 15.

Poirot, who graduated from OSU in 1953, is one of the nation's most respected engineers. He has served as chairman of the board of CH2M HILL, president of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and is a member of the prestigious National Academy of Engineers.

He will receive his degree at the graduate student ceremony on Sunday at 9 a.m., and will also be present at the undergraduate ceremony, which starts at 2 p.m. Both ceremonies are at Reser Stadium.

Poirot will be honored for his engineering leadership and involvement on global sustainability initiatives, including the Earth Charter, OSU officials say. Since retiring from CH2M HILL in 1995, Poirot has worked to influence how engineers can improve the way humans interact with the Earth.

"Mr. Poirot challenges engineers to accept their responsibility for the world's environmental problems and to be involved in shaping global environmental principles, ethics, and policies that affect how humanity will live harmoniously with the Earth," said Ron Adams, OSU dean of engineering.

"Throughout his career, Mr. Poirot has exhorted his fellow engineers to be involved in their communities, and to be lifelong learners," Adams said. "He has been a model to all of us in that regard. His career, before and after retirement, has been exemplary in leadership and service to the engineering profession and to OSU."

Poirot has served as vice president of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations and as a founding board member of the World Engineering Partnership for Sustainable Development. In 2000, he participated in launching the Earth Charter in The Netherlands, and spoke at a ceremony attended by many environmental leaders, including Mikhail Gorbachev, the co-chairman of the Earth Council.

He was elected to the National Academy of Engineers in 1993, when he was cited for "providing leadership in the development of quality management systems for engineering organizations."

Poirot has served on the OSU Alumni Association board of directors, chaired the long-range planning committee and the building campaign for the CH2M HILL Alumni Center, and has been a member of the OSU College of Engineering's Advisory Board since its inception.

In 1998, Poirot was inducted into the inaugural class of the OSU College of Engineering Hall of Fame, and in 1999 was the recipient of the OSU Alumni Association's E.B. Lemon award. In 2001, he was elected to honorary membership of the Japan Society of Civil Engineers.

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Ron Adams, 541-737-3101