2009-2010

2010 Taylor Award Recipients

Philip Wild '50

Philip Wild, your longtime loyalty and dedication have had a profound impact on your alma mater.

Your contributions began long before your graduation from WPI. As a student, you contributed to the spirit of this campus through your involvement with your fraternity, Alpha Tau Omega, which elected you vice president. You boosted theatre arts as secretary of Masque, you served as treasurer for your class, and even orchestrated your Junior Prom. 

As an alumnus, you furthered WPI's reputation through a prestigious career with Stone & Webster Engineering Corporation that spanned three decades—starting as a cadet engineer and ending with your retirement as senior executive vice president. During that time, WPI was never far from your thoughts. You sat on your Class Board of Directors and represented the Mid-Century class on the Alumni Council. You mustered your classmates' spirit—and their dollars—for a gala Reunion and an impressive Anniversary Gift. Your strong support of WPI qualified you for the President's Advisory Council, where you gladly contributed your wisdom on the Steering Committee. You were a recipient of the 1990 Robert H. Goddard Award for Outstanding Professional Achievement.

 In 1985, when WPI sought the assistance of industry professionals to help guide its academic departments, you answered the call. You signed on to the newly formed Civil Engineering Department advisory board, chaired the organization for 10 years, and now hold the status of emeritus member.

Philip Wild, we are moved by your spirit and your generosity. Today, it is our honor to present you with the Herbert F. Taylor Award for Distinguished Service to WPI.

John Wilson '65

John Wilson, you are a steadfast supporter of WPI and one of its greatest advocates.

As a civil engineering student, you were highly involved in campus life. You developed your professional skills and found value in your memberships with Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, the Interfraternity Council, the track team, the wrestling team, and several honor societies. You furthered your education with master's and doctoral degrees from The Ohio State University, and earned the Outstanding Young Engineer Award from the Ohio Society of Professional Engineers.

You joined the engineering firm Paul J. Ford & Co. as a structural engineer and worked your way up to become president. Over the past three decades, you have helped the firm grow, expanding offices in Ohio, Florida, and Georgia. You credit WPI for your success, and have worked tirelessly to support the university's efforts. "I have WPI to thank for where I am today," you have said. "I am happy to continue the tradition of philanthropy, in gratitude for the past and as an investment in the future."

You have put your expertise and your dedication into action, chairing the Annual Fund Board and serving on the steering committee for your class's Anniversary Gift Campaign. Through the PolyClub and your commitment to WPI's athletic department, you have helped our student athletes succeed. Through the years, you have strengthened your involvement with membership in the President's Circle, and the President's Advisory Council. 

John Wilson, your determination and loyalty to your alma mater has made a difference in the lives of countless WPI students. We are honored to present you with the Herbert F. Taylor Award for Distinguished Service to WPI.

Paula Delaney '75

Paula Fragassi Delaney, the devotion to WPI demonstrated by alumni like you is the very reason we created the Taylor Award.

As an undergraduate, you kept your fellow students informed and in touch through your work on the student newspaper Newspeak, and the Peddler yearbook. As an alumna and an IT professional, you have worked hard to keep that connection strong and clear.

 You graduated, married classmate William Delaney '74, and pursued a career in higher education. You advanced through opportunities at RPI and several area colleges. WPI was fortunate enough to have you on board for many years, first as registrar for six years, and returning later for seven years at the Computing and Communications Center managing administrative computing applications. Today—though you are just down the road at Clark University—your loyalty has never strayed from your alma mater. You have been an engaged and enthusiastic presence wherever WPI alumni gather.

You have been a longtime member of your class Board of Directors, and the Alumni Leadership Council.  For more than 15 years, you have served the Alumni Association on the Executive Committee, and as a current member of its Board of Directors.  As chair of the Lifelong Learning Division, you created opportunities for WPI alumni to continue their education long after they earned their diplomas. You have served on a number of alumni committees and working groups, including the Citations Committee, online community initiatives, revision of the association constitution and by-laws, budgeting and finance, and Reunion committees.  And you were tapped by Skull with the Class of 2006.

As a proud graduate of the WPI Plan, and because you believe so strongly in the value of a WPI education, you keep on giving back, reaching out through continued participation in alumni and Student Alumni Society events, and helping establish the Class of '75 IQP Fund, which supports project costs and student scholarships. Your dedication has carried over to your current membership in the Alumni Association Board of Directors Alumni Engagement Committee, and as a member of the President's Circle.

Paula Delaney, for your tireless work to make WPI a better place for its students and alumni, we are honored to present you with the Herbert F. Taylor Award for Distinguished Service to WPI.

John FitzPatrick '75

John FitzPatrick, your WPI education has taken you around the world and helped you pursue tremendous opportunities. In turn, you've given back, making WPI a part of your life, no matter where life took you.

You went on to graduate school at Rutgers University to earn an MBA. You put your engineering skills to work at some of the world's finest corporations, solving challenges around the globe. You then pursued a new path in tax and business consulting as owner of your own firm, General Business Services. You and Ginny merged your businesses to form your own company – Morris Planning Associates. Today you serve your community as a certified financial planning professional.

Over the years, you have ensured the continued strength of WPI through your membership on the President's Advisory Council and your participation on the Annual Fund Board. You have steered the Alumni Association through your service as Class Agent for the Alumni Fund, Reunion Gift Chair for your 25th and 30th Reunions, alumni admissions volunteer in New Jersey, co-chair with Ginny of the New Jersey alumni chapter, and a member of the Class Board of Directors since its inception. Your and Ginny's support of the crew team helped WPI elevate rowing to a varsity sport on campus. You've bolstered class spirit by planning Reunions, rallying for Homecomings, and participating in local alumni events. Perhaps your most treasured contribution is your son, Joe, a graduate of the Class of 2003 ('04 MS EE), a former Goatkeeper, and a successful engineer.

John FitzPatrick, you have embraced WPI as part of your own family. It is an honor to present you with the Herbert F. Taylor Award for Distinguished Service to WPI. 

Virginia FitzPatrick '75

Virginia Giordano FitzPatrick, you were among the first students to benefit from the WPI Plan, and it has guided you in your success from the United States to Europe, to South America and back.

You were drawn to WPI for its project-based curriculum. You attribute your success to the skills you gained through this approach, saying, "The WPI Plan gave me the confidence to stand up for what I believe and to not be afraid to take risks."

After graduation, you worked your way up in the business world, from engineer, systems representative, and instructor, all the way to president of Computer Applications Learning Center, known as CALC. Along with your husband, John FitzPatrick '75, you traveled the world, from New Jersey to England and Columbia. On your return, you followed your dreams and formed your own business. Today you are president of Morris Planning Associates, a consulting firm that specializes in training IT professionals on the latest IBM technologies.

Even while living far afield and raising a family, you maintained a strong connection with your alma mater. As an admissions alumni volunteer, you helped others find their way to WPI—including your son, Joe. You mentored students and shared your business expertise on the Advisory Committee of WPI's Entrepreneurs Collaborative. You served your class faithfully through Reunion planning and fundraising. Your commitment extends to membership in the President's Advisory Council. An energetic leader in the Alumni Association, you currently sit on the Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Ginny FitzPatrick, you have never forgotten the impact that WPI has made in your life. Today, we would like to recognize your influence on the university. We are pleased to present you with the Herbert F. Taylor Award for Distinguished Service to WPI.

Judith Nitsch '75

Judy Nitsch, you are an inspiration for students, alumni, and future generations of engineers. Your career accomplishments and your passionate dedication to your alma mater are equally valued by WPI.

After graduating with the pioneering women of 1975, you quickly established yourself as a capable engineer. At Schofield Brothers, you were promoted to branch manager, made history as the firm's first woman vice president, and joined the board of directors. At Allen & Demurjian you rapidly rose to stockholder and partner, adding your name to the firm's title. But following your true ambition, you ventured out on your own to form Judith Nitsch Engineering. Within five years, the company you founded was named one of Inc. magazine's 500 fastest growing companies. Today, Nitsch Engineering is known for its work on projects in 15 states and six countries, and consulting work on environmentally responsible, LEED-certified structures.

You made history in your field with many "firsts" on your resume. You were the youngest and first woman president of the Boston Society of Civil Engineers Section/ASCE. You've held leadership posts in the Society of Women Engineers and numerous other professional organizations. You've won honors as an exemplary manager, an innovative designer, and a groundbreaking woman. WPI has previously recognized your achievements and your loyalty with the Washburn, Boynton, and Goddard awards. In 1989, you once again made history by becoming the first woman graduate elected to the university's Board of Trustees.

Your success is no surprise to us. An exceptional student, you were listed in "Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities." You never fail to credit your alma mater for giving you your start as an engineer, and you remain one of the university's biggest supporters. As chair of the Facilities Committee, you work tirelessly to ensure a sustainable future for this campus. You played a major role in the planning and construction of East Hall, WPI's newest residence building. Your generous contributions brought the building's green roof to life and made environmentally responsible living a reality for the 232 students who now live and study there.

Judy Nitsch, for all that you do for your alma mater and for your profession, we are honored to present you with the Herbert F. Taylor Award for Distinguished Service to WPI.

June 8, 2010