(Secaucus, NJ) Christopher J. Wiernicki, Chairman, President and CEO of ABS, addressed the college graduates, their families, faculty members and honored guests at the Stevens Institute of Technology’s 145th commencement ceremony on 24 May at the Meadowlands Expo Center.
“I am honored to congratulate you on your accomplishments as you embark on a new chapter in your life where you will undoubtedly be called to lead,” Wiernicki told the graduates. “Your journey begins today and will continue throughout your life to be full of success and mistakes, all lessons from which you will learn and grow as leaders.”
Wiernicki’s remarks focused on the importance of humble leadership and placing respect and dignity as the cornerstone of any leadership philosophy.
“Being humble is more than being fair-minded and honest,” said Wiernicki. “It’s being careful to ensure you treat everyone you encounter with dignity and respect, receptive in seeking creativity and opportunity, and consistent in maintaining your integrity.”
Wiernicki reminded the graduates: “As leaders, you trade on integrity every day and you must do what is right, not what is easy.”
Stevens Institute of Technology President Nariman Farvardin remarked: “It is an honor to welcome Chris as our 2017 Commencement speaker. His many accomplishments include leading one of the world’s foremost ship classification organizations, advancing technology and innovation to improve safety in the marine and offshore industries, and preparing the next generation of leaders thus making him an ideal speaker and deserving recipient of the honorary degree.”
During the ceremony Wiernicki received an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree, honoris causa, from Stevens Institute of Technology in recognition of his professional achievements and leadership in the marine and energy industries.
Wiernicki holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering from Vanderbilt, where he was later inducted to Vanderbilt University School of Engineering Academy of Distinguished Alumni; a Master of Science in Structural Engineering from George Washington University, where he was later elected to the George Washington University Engineering Hall of Fame; a Master of Science in Ocean Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); and completed Harvard University’s Advanced Management Program.
Wiernicki is a Fellow with the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers. He was awarded the Vice Admiral Emory S. Land Medal in 2013 for outstanding accomplishment in the marine field, the United Seaman’s Service Admiral of the Ocean Seas Award in 2016 for outstanding contributions to the maritime industry, is a member of the International Maritime Hall of Fame Class of 2016, and was awarded honorary Doctor of Science degrees from Maine Maritime Academy and SUNY Maritime College. Wiernicki lectures at the university level on topics ranging from leadership to technology, serves on the Board of Trustees for the Seamen’s Church Institute as well as numerous University Boards and Advisory Councils.
Founded in 1862, ABS is a leading international classification organization devoted to promoting the security of life and property and preserving the natural environment through the development and verification of standards for the design, construction and operational maintenance of marine and offshore assets.