Alumni Award

Data Communications Pioneer, David Forney ’54, Receives New Canaan Country School Alumni Award

The New Canaan Country School Alumni Council is pleased to announce that Dr. G. David Forney, Jr. ‘54 was presented with the 2016 Alumni Award. Dr. Forney returned to campus on Friday, May 20 to accept the honor and to share with students, alumni and guests highlights of his unique career as a pioneer in the field of data communications. 
The Alumni Award is presented each year to honor an alumna or alumnus who best embodies the statement from the school’s mission, “New Canaan Country School inspires students to be lifelong learners with the courage and confidence to make a positive contribution to the world.”
 
“Dave Forney has made tremendous contributions to the field of data communications,” said Head of School Dr. Robert P. Macrae. “His career and passion for electrical engineering led to his design of the first coding system to go into space as well as the first high-speed modem.  In this ever-changing world of technology and telecommunications, we very much look forward to welcoming Dave back to the Country School campus.”
 
“I have always considered myself extraordinarily lucky to have had the benefit of the best education the U.S. has to offer, beginning with the New Canaan Country School, which was extremely important to me,” said Dr. Forney. “With that start, I couldn’t have gone very wrong. I am therefore particularly touched to receive the NCCS Alumni Award.”
 
After Country School, Dr. Forney attended the Choate School in Wallingford, CT.  He received a B.S.E. degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University in 1961, and M.S. and Sc.D degrees in electrical engineering from M.I.T. in 1963 and 1965.
 
In 1965, he joined Codex Corporation, where he designed the first coding system to go into space for a NASA Pioneer deep-space mission in 1968. In 1970, he developed the first modern high-speed telephone line modem, which was the basis of Codex’ subsequent commercial success.  He served as Vice President-R&D of Codex, and, after Codex’ acquisition by Motorola in 1977, as a Vice President of Motorola, until his retirement in 1999. He has been an Adjunct Professor at MIT since 1996.
 
Dr. Forney is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Sciences, and has received many awards and honors.  The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) recently announced that he will receive the 2016 IEEE Medal of Honor, which is the highest award bestowed by this world-wide professional society.
 
Questions about the 2016 Alumni Award may be directed to Director of Alumni Affairs Gina Ely, gely@countryschool.net or (203) 801-5687.
 
Previous New Canaan Country School Alumni Award recipients include:
 
2015: Zachary Iscol ’94
2014: Katherine Ward ’79
2013: Liz Barratt-Brown '74
2012: Matt Heineman '98
2011: Rick Ackerly '60 
2010: Edward Hoagland '47 
2009: Patricia Gates Lynch Ewell '41
2008: Hardy Jones '58
2007: Elizabeth Spelke '64
2006: L. Paul Bremer '56
2005: Edmund L. Resor '66
2004: William A. Shutkin '80
2003: Emily Mead '41
2002: Keith H. Brodie '54
2001: Samuel Sachs '50
2000: Elizabeth S. Crow '61
1999: Hedrick Smith '47
1998: Jonathan B. O’Brien '53 and Joan Dominick O’Brien '53
1997: Peter Goldmark '55
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