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2007 Commencement Honoree: William S. Guttenberg '44

William S. Guttenberg 44William S. Guttenberg '44
President of Wilco Electric (Retired)

The professional achievements that have enabled William S. Guttenberg to give back so generously to NJIT began with his job after graduation with Bogue Electric Manufacturing, which specialized in electromechanical equipment that included motors and generators. Guttenberg was awarded a BS in electrical engineering from NJIT’s Newark College of Engineering in January 1944 under an accelerated program necessitated by the manpower demands of World War II, and in June of that year, he was inducted into the army. Guttenberg saw considerable action as an infantryman in Europe, where he was wounded twice. While recovering, he returned to Bogue, eventually becoming president of the company. He left Bogue in the early 1970s to start a highly successful firm in the same field, Wilco Electric.

Guttenberg’s focus on helping those with physical limitations and who are developmentally disabled is due, in part, to the challenges of cerebral palsy experienced by his own two children. In 1980, he and his late wife, Adele, joined several other parents to start Spectrum for Living, an organization to provide education, training and a residence for the multi-handicapped when aging parents can no longer meet these basic needs. The organization today serves more than 700 individuals in three New Jersey counties in an intermediate-care facility, group homes, apartments and adult training centers. After the death of their son, the Guttenbergs also contributed a substantial endowment to the JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly, New Jersey, for the Chuck Guttenberg Center for the Physically Challenged. The center now offers more than a dozen therapy and recreational programs.

Guttenberg has generously given back to his alma mater. His most recent $1 million gift expands the previously endowed scholarships. The Guttenberg Scholarships are primarily for physically challenged students, students from Paterson, NJ and other urban centers, students who lost a parent in the September 11th terrorist attacks, and Albert Dorman Honors College students. There are currently eight scholarship recipients at NJIT, two of whom will graduate this year. At NJIT, Guttenberg’s support has been recognized with the university’s Alumni Achievement and Outstanding Alumni awards, and with the Weston Medal. In 1990, Guttenberg Information Technologies Center was dedicated in his honor.

In recognition of his professional achievements, his dedication to physically challenged young people, and his generosity to NJIT, New Jersey Institute of Technology is pleased to confer the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, upon William S. Guttenberg.