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College of Engineering, Computer Science & Construction Management

Gary Watters Named 2018 Distinguished Alumni

2018 Distinguished Alumni, Gary WattersNine Chico State alumni will return to campus to be recognized for their outstanding professional achievements at the 26th Annual Distinguished Alumni Dinner on Friday, March 9, 2018. These innovators and leaders will be honored with one of the University's most prestigious awards, the Distinguished Alumni Award. The College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management has selected Gary Watters, a 1957 civil engineering graduate and former dean for the recognition.

Following his undergraduate education at Chico State, Watters completed his MS in civil engineering in 1958 and his Ph.D. in 1963 at Stanford, where he was awarded the National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship and was the second person to receive the Ford Foundation Fellowship. Watters then worked at Utah State for 17 years and later served as the dean of applied science at Chico State until 1992. He retired from the civil engineering department in 1998.

Watters’ accomplishments during his 40-year career in teaching and administration include being selected as the Outstanding Young Engineering Teacher of the Rocky Mountain section of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE); lifetime member of the American Society of Civil Engineers; and serving as a member and the chair of the ASEE Pacific Southwest Section in 1991–92.

In 2001, he was recognized by the Chico State Department of Civil Engineering as an Outstanding Civil Engineering Alumnus for his exemplary career as an educator, administrator, and researcher. Watters lives in Chico and enjoys traveling with his wife, Lorrene, visiting their eight grandchildren.

Continuing to Impact Students

While today’s Chico State students don’t have the opportunity to be a student of Watters', an endowed scholarship in Gary and Lorrene’s name helps ensure the success of future civil engineers. This year’s recipient of the scholarship is Yaneth Reyes Honojosa, a senior studying civil engineering.

Watters will meet with College of ECC faculty and students during his visit to campus.