Second Century for Becton Dickinson and Company Topic of Next Sheffield Engineering Lecture
Henry P. Becton, director emeritus of Becton Dickinson and Company, will present the next Sheffield Fellowship address at Yale University. His talk, titled “Bringing a 100-year-old Company into its Second Century,” will be presented Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 4:30 p.m. in Sudler Auditorium of William Harkness Hall, 100 Wall St.
Free and open to the public, the talk will be followed by a reception in the Presidents Room, Woolsey Hall, corner of College and Grove streets. D. Allan Bromley, Dean of the Yale Faculty of Engineering, is sponsor of the fellowship program.
Becton is the retired vice chairman of the board and chairman of the executive committee of Becton Dickinson, which manufactures medical supplies and devices as well as diagnostic systems, with annual revenues exceeding $2 billion. The firm was founded in 1897 by his father, the late Maxwell W. Becton, and the late Fairleigh S. Dickinson Sr.
The younger Becton joined the company in the fall of 1937, the same year he graduated from the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale University. He spent his first 18 months on the road as a salesman for the company. Returning to the company’s offices in 1939, he was elected to the board of directors and served as the company’s secretary. In 1944, after he returned from active military duty in England, Becton became the company’s assistant treasurer. In 1948, he was made executive vice president. From 1961 through February 1987, he was chairman of the executive committee of the board of directors.
Becton has served as a trustee of Fairleigh Dickinson University from 1948 to 1994. He also served as a member of the board of directors of National Community Bank of New Jersey, now National Community Division of The Bank of New York, from 1947 to 1993.
Long active in a variety of civic, social and community organizations, Becton has served as borough councilman of Rutherford, New Jersey; director of the Bergen County and the New Jersey Chambers of Commerce; chairman of the New Jersey Employers Legislative Committee; president of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra; and chairman of the standing committee for clinical thermometers at the U.S. Bureau of Standards.
The Sheffield Fellowship was established in 1996 to honor the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale. Founded in 1852 to train engineers, the school produced some of the greatest inventors and industrial leaders of the 19th and 20th centuries before it was absorbed into the growing Yale Faculty of Arts and Sciences in the mid-1940s.
The Sheffield Fellowship brings leaders and innovators in business, industry and government to Yale. In addition to presenting a lecture, fellows tour laboratories and classrooms and meet with faculty and students. Informal discussions with members of student organizations provide career perspectives in engineering and related fields.