Prior to 2016, the Legacy Awards were classified under a distinct recognition category. However, the awards were later renamed to pay tribute to BEYA’s legacy, which dates back to 1987.
These Legacy Awards are presented annually at the BEYA STEM Conference to honor individuals who have voluntarily contributed to the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) community, as well as excelled in the STEM workforce.
The introduction of these Legacy Awards took place during BEYA’s 30th-anniversary conference, which was a celebration of the scientific and technical contributions made by men and women who have won the Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) since 1987.
For over seven years, the Engineering Deans Breakfast at BEYA has been recognized as the place where special honorees receive Legacy Awards.
One of the recipients of the Eugene M. DeLoatch Legacy Award was Jonathan Jones, a fermentation improvement engineer at Dow AgroSciences who was recognized for his dedication to STEM outreach in local communities.
DeLoatch, who retired in 2016 after serving for 32 years as the head of Morgan State University’s Mitchell School of Engineering, became the inaugural dean when it was launched in 1984. His remarkable career as an educator played a significant role in increasing minority representation in engineering, and he was named the Black Engineer of the Year in 2017.
The Linda Gooden Legacy Award is named after Linda Gooden, the 2006 Black Engineer of the Year and one of the most respected business leaders in aerospace and defense during her 40-year career.
Currently, she serves as the chair of the University System of Maryland Board of Regents. Gooden is among the few individuals who have presented awards named after them at BEYA. In 2019, she presented the Legacy Award bearing her name to Audrell K. Samuels, an employee of Lockheed Martin.
Gooden praised Samuels’ work with the STEM outreach program and her contribution to the enterprise resource groups that she belongs to and supports.
Gooden expressed her gratitude for being a part of the distinguished list of nominees, especially during the 20th anniversary of the Black Engineer of the Year Awards. She believes that their actions today will pave the way for the next 20 years, much like those who won the award 20 years ago set the stage for them.
In 2019, Ramon Richards, the senior vice president of integrated technology solutions at Fannie Mae, won the Dr. Christopher Jones Legacy Award.
The award was presented by Dr. Christopher Jones, the 2016 Black Engineer of the Year and retired corporate vice president of Northrop Grumman.
Richards, an executive leader with the Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF) organization, creates opportunities to strengthen the talent pipeline in technology leadership for African Americans.
The 2020 Dr. Mark Dean Legacy Award was awarded to William Green, a senior technical staff member and IBM Master Inventor.
Dr. Mark Dean, the 2000 Black Engineer of the Year, developed groundbreaking technologies such as the color PC monitor, the Industry Standard Architecture system bus, and the first gigahertz chip with engineer Dennis Moeller.
Dr. Dean was one of only 50 active fellows of IBM’s 200,000 employees in 1995 and the first African American. He holds over 30 patents and retired from IBM in 2013.
Green, during his acceptance speech, spoke about the long legacy of achievement at IBM Corporation, including Tom Laster, the first Black salesman, Calvin Waite, the first Black engineering manager, George Carter, the first Black executive, Rod Atkins, the first Black senior vice president, and of course, Dr. Mark Dean.