Former Chancellor, Dr. John A. White Recognized at Building Dedication

Photo of John White clappingOn Friday, Oct. 17, 2013 historic Engineering Hall was formally dedicated as the John. A. White Jr. Engineering Hall in honor of former chancellor and College of Engineering alumnus John A. White Jr. The ceremony was held on the lawn in front of the building and speakers included Chancellor G. David Gearhart; Terry Martin, interim dean of the College of Engineering; Julian Stewart, College of Engineering alumnus; and former Chancellor White.

In March of 2012, the Board of Trustees voted to honor White for his achievements, which include his success in academia, business and public service, his leadership in the Campaign for the Twenty-First Century, his vision of the university as a nationally competitive education and research institution and his efforts to lead the university to new levels of achievement. These achievements were listed in a resolution, which was framed and presented to White at the ceremony.

“John White altered the entire direction of this university, and left it irrevocably changed,” said Chancellor Gearhart. “He raised expectations and standards, instilled in us a sense of mission, and set challenging goals for the enrollment, research expenditures, the endowment, and other critical areas. His leadership lifted us from a historically third-tier institution into a top-tier institution. In short, John White made a significant and lasting mark on this university through his career, and we are here today to honor his memory by naming the Engineering Hall the John A. White Jr. Engineering Hall.”

White earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Arkansas in 1962, a master’s degree from Virginia Polytechnic and State University, and a doctorate from Ohio State University. He also holds honorary doctorates from Katholieke Universitiet of Leuven, Belgium, and George Washington University. Prior to returning to Arkansas, White was dean of engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he served on the faculty for 22 years. His career in higher education and in management and engineering consulting carried him into the national ranks, including service as assistant director for engineering at the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C.

White’s term as chancellor ended in 2008, and he is currently a Distinguished Professor in the department of industrial engineering.


 Photo of John A. White Engineering Hall

John A. White Jr. Engineering Hall was built in 1927 and houses the departments of biomedical engineering and biological and agricultural engineering. The university plans to renovate the building over the next few years, creating new classroom and lab space for the biomedical engineering department and adding a second wing on the west side.