The mission of the American Society of Highway Engineers is to promote the planning, design, construction, maintenance and operation of safe and efficient highways; to foster a general understanding of the value of highways and seek support for their fiscal viability; to stimulate and publicize the technology advances in the highway field; to encourage communication among all segments of the highway industry; to stress the value of individuals; and to facilitate ethics, leadership and career growth of members.
The First State Section was Chartered on May 6, 1987 with 44 original members. 9 of those originals are still current members of the section. Mr. Paul McConnell was most instrumental in generating the interest in forming the section and attended many of the organizational meetings that first year. DelDOT’s Gary Homewood was the initial Section President.
Current Membership totals 125, of which 66% are Consultants, 14% Contractors, 20% Government, Suppliers, Utilities, and others.
After several years of discussing the potential for launching a Student Chapter at the University of Delaware, the concept became a reality in 2009 due in particular to the efforts of Bob Muir, Rod Pieretti, Dick Prentice and Matt Carter. The Student Chapter is thriving with a current membership consisting of 54 enterprising University of Delaware Students.
We are extremely proud to have established the Fred Mueller Memorial Golf / Scholarship event which annually raises money to support the awarding of Scholarships to deserving students dedicated to serving the Highway Industry. From one initial Scholarship of $1,000 in 1994, we have continually increased our ability to award money and in 2006, were able to grant 7 Scholarships totaling $10,000. Through 2014, the First State Section has awarded $110,000 in Scholarships to deserving students interested in pursuing careers in the Transportation Industry. The Golf Tournament is the sole source of funding for the Scholarship effort and we thank all of the sponsors who graciously donate their time, effort and dollars to such a worthwhile cause.
Another noteworthy accomplishment is the creation of the First State Section Highway Hall of Fame. Each year since 1997, one or more deserving individuals have been elected to the Hall of Fame in recognition of significant contributions to the Delaware Highway Industry. To date, 47 ladies and gentlemen have been rewarded with election to the Hall of Fame. These awards are given annually at our May banquet. In 2002, we expanded the Awards Banquet to also include the Pioneer Award which recognizes some of the founders of Delaware’s Highway Program who “Paved the Way” for all of us who have followed in their footsteps. 46 individuals have received the “Pioneer Award” to date.
New for 2010-2011 was the establishment of the “Projects of the Year” program that has now developed into an annual event. DelDOT’s Secretary of Transportation assisted with the presentation of awards in the initial year.
Our monthly programs include Technical presentations on a wide variety of Highway related topics, social gatherings at Blue Rocks Baseball games, presentations by elected or appointed officials, occasional Field Trips, and joint meetings with compatible organizations.
A Charter member of our Section, Mr. Ray Petrucci, was honored to serve as the ASHE National President in 1994 and current Board Member Mr. Richard Prentice was the National President in 2007.
With a good mix of Industry, Government, and Suppliers in our membership, the Section is always striving to improve cooperation, communication, and a sharing of knowledge toward our common goal of establishing the best possible transportation system for the citizens of Delaware.