Stevens Institute of Technology hosted a reunion of the family which bears its name on campus on Oct. 6, 2012. Stevens, founded in 1870, is named for a distinguished family of engineers and inventors who have made tremendous contributions to the nation’s maritime and railroad systems. The Steven’s family reunion was the first in more than 30 years.
Stevens family members have contributed greatly to American history. They were the inventors of pioneering models of the steamboats and railroads that became the foundation of the commerce system in the NY/NJ region. They also designed the elongated explosive ‘shell for naval artillery, double-hulled and double-ended ferry boats, pile-lined ferry slips, the iron T-section rail now in use throughout the world, and steam-driven ironclad warships.
One family member, John Cox Stevens, headed the syndicate that, in 1851, built the schooner "America" that defeated the British Challenger for the Hundred Guineas Cup, now known as the America’s Cup. In mid-October, Cox Stevens will be inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame.
Other notable Stevens family descendants throughout the years include Millicent Fenwick, a former member of Congress from New Jersey who was also appointed by President Reagan as the first U.S. Ambassador to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome., a U.S. Ambassador to Spain, a casualty and a survivor from the Lusitania, a member of the first class of the U.S. Naval Academy, Jonathan Reckford, the current CEO of Habitat for Humanity International and more.
"The Stevens family paved the way for innovation and entrepreneurship and it’s that same entrepreneurial spirit that resides at Stevens today," said Stevens President Nariman Farvardin. "With our vibrant education and research programs, there is a deeply rooted culture of innovation and a desire to impact the world, which we can attribute to the founders of the institution."
Stevens, The Innovation University TM", has more than 6,000 students and 37,000 alumni. Alumni have leadership positions in many industries including construction, power generation, telecommunications, green energy, biotechnology, transportation and the financial community.
More than 400 descendants of the Stevens family throughout the United States were invited to October’s event. Earlier in the day, before the dinner there was a reception and tour of the Stevens campus for Steven’s family and extended family members. Mayor Dawn Zimmer showed up as well and spoke briefly about the contributions Stevens has made to the City of Hoboken including City Hall and land for a number of Parks.
Below are some photos of the dinner held at Babbio Center which included a fabulous cake from Carlos Bakery to commemorate John Cox Stevens who won the “America’s Cup” on Yacht America in 1851 and also founded the New York Yacht Club. The views as one can imagine were spectacular.
Babbio Center Converted into large dinning area with NYC views
Cake of “Yacht America” courtesy of Carlos Bakery aka the Cake Boss
The Stevens Institute will be loaning the original design plans of the USS Monitor to the Smithsonian Museum and the US Mariner’s Museum
Below is the history of John Cox Stevens (1785-1857) and his sporting history including yachting (click to enlarge):