Chairman & CEO Greg Graves, P.E. Awarded UMKC Honorary Engineering Doctorate


UMKC School of Computing and Engineering (SCE) was honored to award Burns & McDonnell Chairman & CEO Greg Graves, P.E., a honorary UMKC SCE engineering doctorate at our May 17, 2013 commencement ceremony. His distinguished contributions to engineering, the Kansas City community and engineering education are significant. As Chairman and CEO of Burns & McDonnell, Greg Graves leads one of the fastest growing and most successful engineering, architecture, construction, and environmental consulting firms in North America. In January 2004, when Greg was appointed CEO, approximately 1,500 employee-owners worked at Burns & McDonnell. Annual revenue in 2004 was $420 million. Since then the employee count has more than doubled and sales last year exceeded $2 billion. Under Greg’s leadership, Burns & McDonnell has earned a reputation as a national leader in many technical specialties within the energy, public infrastructure, government, aviation, process, and healthcare sectors. In 2012, Burns & McDonnell ranked as the 23rd largest engineering, architecture and construction firm in annual rankings published by Engineering News-Record magazine. Also in that issue, the firm’s transmission & distribution practice was ranked as the largest in the country. More importantly to Greg, the firm is now nationally recognized as one of America’s best places to work. In 2013, Fortune magazine ranked Burns & McDonnell the 18th best place to work in its annual ranking of the 100 Best Places to Work in America. It was the second consecutive year and third time in five years that Burns & McDonnell has been named to the high profile ranking.

Although he has far-reaching jobs and people to manage, Greg makes time for his community. In 2010 he was unanimously elected as chair of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce board. He also serves on the boards of the Union Station, Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, University of Missouri Kansas City, University of Kansas Advancement Board, United Missouri Bank, University of Kansas Hospital Authority Board, University of Kansas School of Engineering Advisory Board, and Starlight Theatre. Greg and his wife Deanna view public service as a duty in return for all Kansas City has given them.

Greg Graves stands firmly for education and is a UMKC advocate. He promotes the relocation of the renowned UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance to a new downtown location, one of the Big Five Ideas developed while Greg was chair of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. Speaking in favor of the engineering, computing and information technology partnership between UMKC and Rockhurst, Greg surmised that, working together, the two prestigious Kansas City universities would increase the pool of qualified engineering and information technology professionals – a huge asset to regional employers. As a UMKC Trustee, Greg encourages UMKC’s expanding role as Kansas City’s university. And through such projects as the endowment of UMKC’s Newton A. Campbell Engineering Excellence Scholarship begun in 2010, Greg bolsters the reputation of the School of Computing and Engineering and our ability to bring in top-flight students. Dean Kevin Truman and the faculty and staff of SCE are very proud to recognize Greg’s support and leadership of the School of Computing and Engineering, UMKC and Kansas City by awarding him a Doctor of Engineering, honoris causa.

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