Edmund O. Schweitzer, III Ph.D., founder and president of Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. (SEL) and pioneer in digital protection for electric power systems, has received the Washington State University (WSU) 2014 Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award, the university’s highest alumni honor. Schweitzer is the 45th recipient of the award.
The award was bestowed upon Schweitzer by WSU President Elson S. Floyd as well as Michael C. Worthy, Chair of the WSU Board of Regents. A public address by Schweitzer followed in which he provided encouragement for attendees to use continuous learning, creativity, and grit to pursue their own passions.
“School is about learning the fundamentals, the things that don’t rust,” said Schweitzer. “But after we learn the fundamentals, it’s up to each of us to decide what to do with what we’ve learned.”
Additional members of the WSU Board of Regents were in attendance as well as nearly one hundred community members; WSU faculty, staff, students, and alumni; and SEL employees, customers, and friends.
Schweitzer expressed appreciation to the Board of Regents and to WSU President Emeritus Samuel H. Smith, who nominated him for the award.
“It is a true honor just to be nominated, and I am humbled that President Floyd and the WSU Regents actually selected me to receive it. As the only recipient of the award who stayed in Pullman after graduation, I hope it inspires young minds to take a few moments to realize what great opportunities WSU and Pullman provide and that geography should not be considered an obstacle to success.”
Schweitzer received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Purdue University and his doctorate from WSU. He served on the electrical engineering faculties of Ohio University and WSU before founding SEL in Pullman, Washington, in 1982.
The WSU Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award is given to alumni who have made significant contributions to society and, through their accomplishments, have brought distinction to WSU. More information about the award and a video of Schweitzer’s public address can be found at www.regents.wsu.edu/distinguished-alumni.