by Kevin Gray
In 1959, less than half of 1 percent of engineers in the United States was African American. Today, that figure is 5 percent, due in large part to the work of Eugene DeLoatch ’59, founding dean of Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. School of Engineering at Morgan State University.
“He is an iconic leader in engineering education who has made an indelible impact on our field,” says Keith Moo-Young, a Morgan State graduate who is now chancellor of Washington State University’s Tri- Cities campus. “On a national level, Gene has changed the conversation about the importance of high-quality engineering education and the need for diversity in the engineering education arena.”
DeLoatch, who received an honorary degree from Lafayette in 1988, was honored recently by Career Communications Group for his contributions to the engineering profession.
Career Communications produces Black Engineer Magazine, Hispanic Engineer Magazine, and sponsors the Black Engineer of the Year Awards, cofounded in 1986 by DeLoatch.
DeLoatch, who holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering and a Ph.D. in bioengineering from Polytechnic Institute University, is chair of the Council of Engineering Deans of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities and previously served as secretary of the board of directors, Technology and Economic Development Corporation of Maryland.
DeLoatch attended Lafayette through a special program between Lafayette and Tougaloo College to train engineers. He graduated with degrees in electrical engineering and mathematics. A member of the cross country and track teams, he was Middle Atlantic Conference half-mile champion in 1959.
“We had all the requirements of engineering, but also the social sciences and humanities… it was a foundation from which I could build the rest of my professional career.”
The College’s Eugene DeLoatch ’59 Excellence in Science and Engineering Award is presented each year to a senior with outstanding academic accomplishments.