Stevens Honor Award

Decades after he engineered the tallest building on the Stevens campus, Richard Harries became the catalyst for a new construction project that will transform Castle Point.

In 2018, Mr. Harries pledged a record-setting bequest to Stevens that will help pay for the largest building project in school history – two dormitory towers atop a new university center full of amenities. Set to open in 2021, the university center will modernize campus, while the towers, including the north one named in honor of Mr. Harries, will enable almost 1,000 more students to live at Castle Point and enjoy the full Stevens experience.

The gift from Mr. Harries evokes work he performed for Stevens at the beginning of his career in the early 1960s, as the resident engineer who managed construction of the 14-floor Howe Center, the main administrative building on campus. Mr. Harries also managed construction of the Palmer and Davis residence halls.

In between the two eras during which he has played a transformational role on the Stevens campus, Mr. Harries transformed his home state. His namesake development firm completed more than 900 projects across New Jersey, notably including the Prudential Financial building and the Anheuser-Bush brewery in Newark, hospitals in Summit and Morristown, and the Richard F. Harries Industrial Park in Carlstadt. During his career, Mr. Harries also worked for Lane Construction, the United States Gypsum Company, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and he served as chief engineer for the Frank Briscoe Company and for the Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission.

As a student, Mr. Harries was a member of the Student Council and the Society of Automotive Engineers. He also served as class president, leading his classmates in raising money for and installing an electronic scoreboard at the former Mott Field during their senior year. In honor of their sixtieth reunion, Mr. Harries again rallied his friends by making a challenge for legacy gifts and increasing the Class of 1958 scholarship endowment.

Mr. Harries grew up in Jersey City as the son of industrious German immigrants. As a child, he bottled milk for his parents’ dairy business, and he was the first member of his family to attend college. Now retired and living in North Caldwell, Mr. Harries and his wife, Carol, support over 60 charities, including The Salvation Army, Shriners International, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Mr. Harries is a lifelong automobile enthusiast who spends his spare time building, repairing, and driving a collection of 12 antique cars, including his prized 1932 Auburn Boattail Speedster and two 100-point, Concours-grade Rolls-Royces.