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Distinguished Alumni Award

Distinguished Alumni Award

For national or international achievements

The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor accorded by the Alumni Association and recognizes a graduate of the University of Dayton who has earned special distinction, thereby reflecting great honor on the University of Dayton and its alumni.

The award is given to a person who has sustained a record of accomplishment and whose reputation is widespread.

In selecting the distinguished alumni, special attention shall be given to the accomplishments that embody the University’s goal to participate effectively in the quest for a more perfect human society. To be eligible, a person must hold a degree from the University of Dayton, and must have received the degree at least 25 years prior to being nominated for the award. Unless there is a compelling reason to merit an exception, only one award will be given each year.

Tsu T. Soong, Ph.D. ’55

Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering
Tsu T. Soong, Ph.D.  ’55
Tsu T. Soong, Ph.D.  ’55

When Tsu T. Soong, Ph.D. arrived at the University of Dayton in the early 1950s, he didn’t know a soul. He traveled from Taiwan and spoke little English, so each night he spent hours translating his textbooks from English into Chinese in his dorm room.

While his home of Taiwan is known for being hit hard by typhoons, Soong’s years of engineering expertise have been focused on another type of disaster—earthquakes. He is one of the foremost authorities on developing techniques to protect structures against severe weather and natural catastrophes.

After two years at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., Soong spent 46 years at the State University of New York at Buffalo, the last six years as a distinguished professor in engineering structural dynamics.

He has earned awards and global recognition for his smart bracing and smart damping systems, designed to handle skyscraper and long-span bridge vibrations during an earthquake or strong wind. He has developed and installed these systems in structures in Asia, Europe, and the U.S.

In 1986, Soong was one of five principal investigators to establish the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research in Buffalo, funded by the National Science Foundation and the State of New York.

Since retiring in 2009, he enjoys keeping up with his international circle of colleagues and former students. One thing, he says, he always tells his students is to find their passion, no matter what it is.

“Find the work that you love,” he said. “If it’s field work, research, teaching, working in the industry; you can only excel if you do something you love.”


Past Recipients

Katherine Schipper '71
Richard A. Abdoo '65
John B. Alexander '25
Paul W. Armstrong '67
Edwin G. Becker '14
Lori Hinnenkamp Beer '89
Erma F. Bombeck '49
David Bradley '71
Ricardo Bressani, Ph.D. '48
Edward L. Buescher '45
Simon Burick '30
Doris I. Charles '52
Ronald W. Collins '57
John E. Condon '51
Carl J. Crane '24
L. William "Bill" Crotty ’52
Richard P. Davis '72
Ralph D. Delaney '55
Joseph Desch '29 (posthumously awarded)
Eileen Dolan '79
Dr. Sean Donahue '84
F. Thomas Eggemeier '67
Richard H. Finan '54
Brother Raymond L. Fitz, S.M. '64
George E. Freitas '29
Thomas J. Frericks '53
Donald R. Geiger, S.M. '55
William E. Hammer, Jr. '62
James C. Herbert '63
Martin J. Hillenbrand '37
Carroll A. Hochwalt '20
George K. Houghtailing '29
Howard L. Hughes, S.M. '51
Cordell W. Hull '56
Clement G. Jauch '08
Soichi Kawazoe '30
Joseph E. Keller '29
Thomas C. Kennedy '59
Donald M. Knowlan '51
John L. Lahey '68, '70
Frank F. Ledford, Jr. '55
John A. Lombardo '71
John J. Lucier, S.M. '37
Peter A. Luongo '65
John T. Makley '57
Torrence A. Makley, Jr. '40
Al H. Mahrt '12
M. Michele Mariscalco, M.D. '77
Lourdes Maurice, Ph.D. '83, '86
Paul V. McEnroe '59
John F. McHale '78
Theodore Q. Miller '68
Simon Nathan '42
Colombe Nicholas '64
Charles H. Noll '53
John L. O'Grady '68
Joseph D. Park '29
Charles J. Pedersen '26
David Phillips '62
Shirley A. Pohl '57
Rita M. Rapp '50
Irmengard Raush '55
Raymond A. Roesch, S.M. '36
Col. Gordon R. Roberts '74
Dr. Richard M. Schoen '72
Sanford M. Shapero '50
Katherine Schipper '71
Barry J. Shillito '49
James R. Spotila '66
Eugene Steuerle '68
George E. Thoma '43
Fred Tenover, Ph.D. '76
Charles L. Weber '58
John R. Westerheide '47
Charles W. Whalen, Jr. '42
Bernard L. Whelan '09
Donald W. Wigal '55
Charles R. Wilke '40

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