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We are deeply saddened by the passing of a remarkable trailblazer, John Brooks Slaughter, the first Black Engineer of the Year. His pioneering spirit and monumental contributions have left an indelible mark on the engineering field and beyond.

John’s esteemed career was marked by significant milestones and leadership roles, including his association with the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and the USC Rossier School of Education.

His journey was not just one of personal success but also of paving the way for future generations.

As President of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and founder of its Engineering Division, John played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of engineering in the United States. His election as the third black member of the National Academy of Engineering further cemented his status as an influential figure in the engineering community.

John’s leadership extended to his tenure as Chancellor of the University of Maryland and as President of Occidental College. He was also a passionate advocate for the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, tirelessly promoting equity and excellence in engineering education. His belief in the transformative power of education was evident in his commitment to making it accessible and equitable for all.

One of the crowning achievements of his illustrious career was the establishment of the University of Southern California Center for Engineering Diversity.

Named in his honor, the center is a lasting tribute to his dedication to fostering diversity and inclusion within the engineering field. The dedication ceremony held just a few months ago, was a reflection of his enduring impact and the values he championed.

John Brooks Slaughter’s passing is a profound loss to the community he so greatly influenced. His legacy as the first Black Engineer of the Year, a leader, an educator, and an advocate for equality will continue to inspire and guide future generations.

As we mourn his loss, we also celebrate his extraordinary life and contributions. Rest in peace, John. Your spirit and achievements will forever be a beacon of inspiration.

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