Dean Parker

Assistant Dean Paul E. Parker helped countless of students persist and excel in their engineering studies. His professional charge was to address a severe under-representation of minority students studying engineering at Illinois in the late 1960s. Since he became director of the Illinois' Minority Engineering Program in 1973, the number of minority undergraduate engineering students at the university has grown from 92 in 1969 to 400 in 2000. 

His influence on several generations of MEP alumni cannot be overstated. Recognized nationally for his commitment to minority engineering education, he received the 2001 Golden Torch Award for Minority Engineering Program Director of the Year from the National Society of Black Engineers, UIUC Dads Association's outstanding faculty member in 1992, and named Black Engineer of the Year in 1991 by U.S. Black Engineer magazine.

Personal comments of his personal impact to others are found on Dean Parker's memorial page.

Dean Parker Tribute Video

Dean Parker's legacy continues through faithful and consistent support from MEP alumni and partners. He instituted the following signature activities that continue to this day: 

S.O.S. (System of Survival / System of Success) is a MEP tradition that has influenced thousands of engineers. MEP alumni coordinate this weekend retreat with workshops to help prepare students succeed through academic, professional, and personal growth. This retreat is held each year in early October at the Allerton Park and Conference Center. 

Students, families, faculty, and alumni share an evening at this end-of-the-year banquet to recognize and celebrate the progress and accomplishments of MEP students. 

The Dean Paul Parker Scholarship Fund was established in 2000 by MEP alumni to honor MEP's inaugural director, Assistant Dean Paul E. Parker. The Parker Scholarship is awarded to exceptional MEP students based on academic merit and service to minority students enrolled in the College of Engineering.

View a list of recipients here.