AU Press Releases

Corning Incorporated scientist to receive honorary degree from Alfred University

George Beall

George Beall

Alfred University will award an honorary degree this spring to George Beall, a Corporate Fellow in Corning Incorporated’s Research Group, for his more than 50 years of exemplary scientific achievement.

“It is so fitting for Alfred University to award an honorary degree to Dr.  Beall,” said Alfred University President Mark Zupan. “As a glass scientist at Corning, Incorporated, Dr. Beall has had an extraordinary impact on the field of glass science. He was a protégé of the renowned Don Stookey, and has gone on to become a legend himself at Corning.”

The bond between Alfred University, which offers the nation’s only Ph.D. in glass science, and Corning Incorporated, is strong and deep, said Zupan, noting that Corning employs more than 300 Alfred University alumni.

Beall was nominated for an honorary degree by distinguished glass scientist Dr. L. David Pye, who had served as dean at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. 

Beall, said Pye, “achieved what industrial scientists covet most: successful experimental programs leading to valuable commercialization.” 

Since joining Corning Incorporated, 54 years ago, Beall has been granted more than 100 U.S. patents, the first Corning employee to reach that milestone.

A native of Montreal, Canada, Beall received an undergraduate degree in geology from McGill University in 1956 and earned a Ph.D. in geology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1962. His future wife, Janet, an employee at Corning’s Central Falls (RI) plant, introduced him to the plant manager who offered Dr. Beall a job as a research geologist/mineralogist working under Dr. Stookey. Combining his background in geology and guidance from Stookey, Beall produced a transparent and colorless glass ceramic in 1963, the first of many such innovations resulting in new Corning products.

Officially retired since 2002, Beall still works on a number of projects with Corning’s glass research group. He has been a mentor to generations of Corning scientists.

Beall recently wrote to Zupan: “It is indeed a great honor both to be considered and unanimously voted by Alfred University’s Board of Trustees for an Honorary Doctorate. I am delighted to accept this honor, and certainly want to especially thank David Pye, a good friend for many years, for the nomination. It is very humbling to see myself in the impressive group of Alfred Honorary Degree recipients, including Dr. Stookey who received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Alfred University in 1984.”

The conferral of Beall’s degree will take place at Corning Incorporated’s Headquarters, later this spring.