West Virginia University Institute of Technology is proud to announce that former president and professor emeritus Dr. Leonard C. Nelson will be the 2012 Commencement Speaker at the May 5 ceremony. Nelson was the University’s longest-standing president, serving the institution for 25 years. Among his many accomplishments, he is the namesake of the WVU Tech College of Engineering and Sciences.
“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Nelson back for Commencement. We look forward to having him join us as we celebrate our graduates’ accomplishments,” said WVU Tech CEO Carolyn Long.
Nelson earned his Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Iowa State University in 1943. He later received his master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Missouri and his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Northwestern University.
He was a member of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, Pi Tau Sigma Mechanical Engineering Honor Society and Sigma Xi Science Honor Society. He was a registered professional engineer in the State of West Virginia and a member of the American Society for Engineering Education. In 1975, he was inducted into the “Who’s Who in the United States” Honorary Society of America.
An active member of his community, Nelson served on the Board of Directors of the Laird Foundation, Inc.; Montgomery General Hospital; Montgomery Chamber of Commerce; Charleston Federal Savings and Loan Association, and was a member and vice-chairman of the West Virginia Capitol Building Commission.
He and his wife, Dr. Rita Wicks-Nelson, professor emerita of psychology, reside in Charleston, W.Va.