LAURELS: Chancellor Named Black Engineers’ Lifetime Member of the Year

Chancellor Gary S. May joined the National Society of Black Engineers, or NSBE, as an undergraduate at Georgia Tech and has been an active member ever since, serving in leadership for many years and becoming lifetime member No. 3 in 2001.

And, as of last weekend, he is the organization’s Lifetime Member of the Year.

“It is without a doubt that I can’t think of a better person than Chancellor Gary S. May to receive the 2023 Lifetime Member of the Year award,” said his nominator, Dereje Agonafer, Presidential Distinguished Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Professor Agonafer noted May’s “many leadership roles at NSBE,” including National Advisory Board (1993-2017) and chair (1994-2005). Today he holds the title National Advisory Board Emeritus.

Chancellor Gary S. May is pictured on a slide announcing his selection as NSBE Lifetime Member of the Year
Chancellor May’s award appears on the projection screen at the NSBE convention’s Lifetime Members Reception.

The award presentation took place Saturday (March 25) during the Lifetime Members Reception at the NSBE’s 49th annual convention, held in Kansas City, Missouri. Chancellor May was unable to attend, so his good friend Anthony Harris, among the six co-founders of the NSBE in 1974, accepted the award on the chancellor’s behalf.

Chancellor May said later he was grateful for the honor from an organization he described as “such an important link between Black professionals and students, especially in terms of mentoring, from kindergarten through college.”

The chancellor knows something about mentoring. He is the recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in STEM Mentoring, given by President Barack Obama in 2015, and the Lifetime Mentor Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2021).

Dateline UC Davis welcomes news of faculty and staff awards, for publication in Laurels. Send information to

Media Resources

Dateline Staff: Dave Jones, editor, 530-752-6556,; Cody Kitaura, News and Media Relations specialist, 530-752-1932,

Primary Category

Secondary Categories