A Life Seeking Out Potential

From the UConn Foundation's Our Moment newsletter (June-July 2012)

Hamid Adib '84 '95 '99
Hamid R. Adib, PE '84 '95 '99 (member, UConn Alumni Association) frequently uses the word "potential" to describe UConn and his experience there.

A senior vice president at AECOM, a global provider of professional technical and management support services, he holds both a master's and a PhD from the School of Engineering and an MBA from the School of Business.

The decision to attend UConn for his advanced degrees was based on what he saw as latent growth existing in Storrs.

"When I was looking at graduate engineering programs, I had the choice of many schools, but I saw UConn as an up-and-coming university with a solid foundation. Since the late 1970s and early 1980s, I could see the commitment of the administration and faculty to improve UConn's image and offerings. There was potential there," he says. "And later, obviously, that reputation was dramatically boosted by UCONN 2000 and everything that followed."

His experience in the School of Engineering provided the kind of hands-on learning that he was seeking.

"The program was very good at combining both application and theory. In my field, that's very important. You can learn the theory of engineering at any number of universities, but I found that the real-life experience I gained at UConn could be immediately applied," he says.

His decision to attend UConn's MBA program later provided similar dividends.

"I had always been interested in the business side of engineering. Engineers tend to be very focused on the analytical and technical side, but the MBA program allowed me to connect with the bigger picture," he says. "It was a win-win situation, especially coming into the program with 15 years of experience behind me. And the quality of faculty in the program was very high."

Today, Adib serves on the Board of Directors of the New York City Chapter of the UConn Alumni Association (link), and contributed to the chapter's drive to become the first out-of-state chapter with an endowed fund. His reason for joining the chapter was actually similar in some ways to his reason for attending UConn.

"I received an invite to attend a meeting, and I figured that I would give it a shot, since it was just a few blocks from work. The energy and enthusiasm in the room was great, all working to advance UConn and its alumni. I looked at the potential of the group and realized that we were going to do great things."

They have indeed, surpassing a challenge gift made by Lucille Protas (link), a dedicated UConn parent, and establishing a scholarship for New York students to attend UConn. Adib sees the engagement of New York City as a key piece of the strategy to grow the University.

"There are 20,000 UConn alumni working or living in the New York City area. I think the university would be foolish if they didn't see the potential there," he says. "Storrs is so close to New York, but so far in some ways. It needs to focus on its ability to attract alumni and donors from the city, and get to where other universities in our class are. The potential is unbelievable."

He hopes that the chapter's success in mobilizing alumni inspires others to give and participate as well.

"I would love for the entire UConn community to understand the power of contributing, and it doesn't have to be just financial in nature. Just putting time in the advancement of UConn would help the whole University go a long way and benefit all alumni. We actively engage in networking opportunities, social outings, and community service to bring together any mixture of incoming freshmen, current students, and alumni. The Chapter's dedication to community service has earned the group U-Awards for three consecutive years, most recently the 2012 award for the group's Young Alumni Mentorship program."


To support the New York City Chapter Scholarship, please contact the Foundation's development department.

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