Josh S. Weston Hon. D.Eng. ’96: Championing the Power of STEM to Better the World
When Josh S. Weston Hon. D.Eng. ’96 imparts business lessons to Stevens students, they know to listen. Weston led his company through four decades of consecutive double-digit growth. They also know he has their interests at heart: Weston has consistently supported the Pinnacle Scholars Program and other Stevens STEM initiatives.
Weston, the retired CEO and honorary chairman of Automatic Data Processing (ADP), a worldwide provider of payroll and human resource services, has long been close to Stevens. The relationship dates back to Kenneth Rogers, the university’s fifth president, a good friend who first introduced Weston to the university. Weston was impressed with what he saw, and asked how he could help.
He has since been a leading supporter of the Pinnacle Scholars Program, a comprehensive cohort program for the most talented Stevens students. Students are selected for the program in their freshman year and remain until they graduate; these scholars receive tuition support as well as additional opportunities for research, faculty mentoring, study abroad, cultural experiences and more.
Students like the Pinnacle Scholars will help shape the future. And the future is what drives Weston’s support for Stevens.
“The future prosperity of our country relies on Americans who can make big STEM differences, and the Pinnacle Scholars Program at Stevens is aimed at nurturing the most promising students. So I’m glad to help with that,” Weston said.
In 1996, Stevens awarded Weston an honorary doctorate in engineering. (He has also received honorary degrees from his alma mater, City College of New York, as well as Fairleigh Dickinson, Montclair State, New Jersey City and Yeshiva universities.)
Weston now counts the current Stevens president, Nariman Farvardin, among his friends and he continues meeting with students, sharing his wisdom and lecturing on leadership.
It’s no wonder that he is frequently asked to speak at colleges and universities. Under Weston’s leadership, ADP generated an astounding 40 years of consecutive double-digit growth. Weston’s long tenure at ADP began in 1951 when he was recruited by then ADP CEO and five-term U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg.
When he stepped down as CEO in 1998, Weston developed a second full-time career leading various nonprofit boards and providing philanthropic support to institutions in the arts and education.
He has also participated in humanitarian efforts around the world as an active board member of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a preeminent nonprofit organization that provides emergency relief, protection, resettlement services and advocacy for refugees.
One common thread that runs throughout Weston’s life, work and philanthropy is his humanity. At ADP, he was known for sending handwritten notes congratulating employees on their accomplishments and calling hospitalized employees to see if they needed anything.
In his work with refugees, he became personally involved with the families he met through the IRC, providing significant guidance and assistance that helped them navigate their new life in the U.S.
Asked about his hands-on approach to his activities, Weston said simply, “I stay busy because I don’t like to watch grass grow. My view is that in addition to sitting in a nice, clean boardroom, we ought to go where the action is.”