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First/Given Name(s):


Lester DUGAS, Jr.[1]
Male Abt 1925 - 1999

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  • Suffix  Jr. 
    Birth  Abt 1925 
    Gender  Male 
    Obituary  1999  Chicago, Cook, Illinois, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    • «b»Lester J. Dugas Jr, 74, Chicago Businessman and Civic Leader, Succumbs
      Lester J. Dugas Jr., retired businessman and civic leader, recently died at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago. He was 74.

      He was the first Black senior manager for Commonwealth Edison in chicago, where he worked for 35 years. When he retired from the utility company in the late '80s, he was the division vice president for Chicago South.

      Born in Milwaukee, he attended public schools there. He entered the Army during World War II. While in the Army he received advanced training in electrical engineering at Howard University. After he served in the Army, he earned a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

      He served as chairman of the Art Institute of Chicago's Leadership Advisory Committee and was a board member at Children's Memorial Hospital for 30 years. He also was a former president of the board at Chicago's Provident Hospital and was instrumental in the development and construction of the hospital's new facility.

      Dugas was a board member of the Kenwood Group, Inc., and chairman of the executive committee of the Hyde Park Bank.

      Dugas attended The Church of St. Paul and the Redeemer, where he served as Junior and Senior wardens.

      He is survived by his wife, Lauranita Dugas, three children, Gail D. Dugas, Dr. Jeffrey A. Dugas Srl, and Lauren Dugas Glover; two sisters, Dolores Scurlock and Carolyn Viera, and five grandchildren.
    Died  30 Aug 1999  Chicago, Cook, Illinois, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Honors  22 Sep 2000  Madison, Dane, Wisconsin, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Dean's Award for Excellence 
    • From the article:

      Innovation is a term often associated with the engineering field, but alumnus Lester J. Dugas, Jr., helped redefine the word's meaning. During his 50-year engineering career and relationship with the UW-Madison College of Engineering, Dugas encouraged a shift in the academic and industry standards by making an effort to open engineering education and career opportunities to all races and genders. Dugas, who died Aug. 30, 1999, is the first recipient of the new Dean's Award for Excellence, which gives special recognition to an outstanding alumnus or friend of the College of Engineering. Dean Paul S. Peercy presented the award to Dugas's family at a ceremony on September 22, 2000. Dugas is remembered for setting a high standard of excellence for future engineers to follow in serving the community, higher education and their profession.

      "Lester Dugas's service to UW-Madison's College of Engineering accelerated diversification efforts in the college, and as a result, in the engineering field," said Peercy. "It is a great honor to name him as the first recipient of this award; he illustrates the meaning of this citation."

      Dugas, one of the founding members of the Beta Omicron Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, graduated from the college with a degree in electrical engineering in 1949. He met his future wife, Lauranita Taylor, while they were both students at UW-Madison. The couple moved to Chicago, where Dugas worked with the electric utility company Commonwealth Edison. He worked for the company for 35 years, and retired as a division vice president.

      He became the first African-American senior manager there and began to hone his own management skills, focusing on promoting and rewarding competence without regard to race and gender. Dugas recruited talented African-American students for internships and employment with Commonwealth Edison. He also promoted a woman to division engineer for the first time in the company's history.

      Commonwealth Edison employees were encouraged to share their talents through a forum Dugas created. Dugas's commitment to interpersonal relationships is illustrated in his 1977 trip to Russia as part of a U.S. Department of Energy exchange program. The following year he reciprocated the invitation by hosting Russian engineers at his home in Chicago. He was one of only a few asked to return for the completion of the program a year later.

      The Dugases played a major role in the university's efforts to reach out to traditionally under-represented alumni and recruited students in the Chicago area. Often, they opened their home to host events that encouraged others to become involved in the university. Beyond the Chicago area, they helped identify alumni across the country and maintained contact with them, strongly advocating for the support of students and educational programs.

      In 1999, the couple established the Lauranita T. and Lester J. Dugas, Jr. Scholarship at UW-Madison. Administered through the University of Wisconsin Foundation, the scholarships are awarded to talented minority students at UW-Madison who have financial need.

      In addition to his community service efforts Dugas fostered a philanthropic relationship with the College of Engineering and its students. He actively supported minority students and in the late 1980s, he developed a pre-engineering program for academically outstanding Explorer Scouts to attend the university on scholarship.

      The Dugases have three children, Gail Dugas, Jeffrey Dugas, Sr. and his wife, Tina Carroll, and Lauren Dugas Glover (UW-Madison '79) and her husband, Kenneth Glover. They have five grandchildren, Andrea Lynn, Jeffrey Jr. and Taylor Jeffrey Dugas; and Evan Joseph and Jonathan Taylor Glover.
    Person ID  I2519  Dobard-Tenette-Fauria
    Last Modified  13 Jun 2008 

    Father  Lester Joseph DUGAS,   b. 22 Jan 1901, New Orleans, Orleans, Louisiana, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 May 1988, Glendale, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother  Living 
    Family ID  F836  Group Sheet

    Family  Living 
    >1. Living
     2. Gail D. DUGAS,   d. Yes, date unknown
    >3. Lauren Roberta DUGAS,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified  24 Jan 2008 
    Family ID  F1001  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsObituary - 1999 - Chicago, Cook, Illinois, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 30 Aug 1999 - Chicago, Cook, Illinois, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsHonors - Dean's Award for Excellence - 22 Sep 2000 - Madison, Dane, Wisconsin, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    Dugas, Lester Joseph Jr
    Dugas, Lester Joseph Jr

  • Sources 
    1. [S211] Correspondence: Danner, Paula, TNG website <http://www.bayoubohemia.net/genealogy/> correction/addition received 25 Apr 2007. (Reliability: 2).

    2. [S252] Genie: Bird, Allison Church [DUGAS], Bird, Allison Church, (Copy of Dugas file, unpublished, a work in progress as of 4 Jan 2006.), No source provided. (Reliability: 2).

    3. [S253] US-Wisconsin-Madison-University of Wisconsin Newsletter, University of Wisconsin, Colege of Engineering, Vol. 27: Fall 2000 "Dean's Award for Excellence" Published on line 20 Oct 2000. Content by perspective@engr.wisc.edu. URL = http://www.engr.wisc.edu/alumni/perspective/27.1/dugas.html (Reliability: 2).

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