Christopher Bednarz ’13 Honored With Gunn Medal

Bronx resident receives highest undergraduate student honor.

Christopher Bednarz, a graduate of Manhattan College’s class of 2013 with a B.S. in chemical engineering, and a resident of Bronx, N.Y., was recognized with the Joseph J. Gunn Alumni Medal on May 16 at the Spring Honors Convocation. Bednarz graduated on May 19 at the College’s 171st Commencement along with some 700 classmates.

The Joseph J. Gunn Alumni Medal is one of the College’s highest undergraduate student honors. The award is given to a graduating senior who has made a significant contribution to the College during his or her undergraduate career.  

“Chris is an exceptional young man. He has not only excelled academically, but he has proven himself as a true Lasallian in giving back to the community through his leadership and his many volunteer activities,” said Tim J. Ward, Ph.D., P.E., dean of the School of Engineering. “He is a role model for all of our students across the campus.”

One of Bednarz’s biggest accomplishments during college was to bring a national charter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) to Manhattan College. After launching Manhattan College’s division of EWB, Bednarz and his classmates started an initiative to use the skills they learned in the classroom to build a bridge in Cameroon, Africa. Manhattan College students will begin work on the bridge in 2014.

During his four years at Manhattan College, he served as treasurer and president of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. In addition, Bednarz was active in the following honor societies: Tau Beta Pi (engineering), Omega Chi Epsilon (chemical engineering) and Phi Delta Epsilon (pre-medical fraternity). He also was involved in the New York Water Environmental Association, the Outdoor Club, and is an assistant scoutmaster and Eagle Scout of the Boy Scouts of America.

In 2009, Bednarz was a participant of the Architecture, Construction and Engineering (ACE) Mentor Program. As a high school student in ACE, he received engineering training and guidance from experienced professionals.

In fact, founder of the ACE Program, Charles H. Thornton ’61, Ph.D., P.E., chairman of Charles H. Thornton & Company, LLC, delivered the keynote address at Bednarz’s commencement and received an honorary Doctorate of Engineering. Thornton, one of the world’s preeminent structural engineers and a former member of the Manhattan College Board of Trustees, is a founding principal and former co-chairman of the international consulting firm Thornton Tomasetti, a worldwide leader in engineering design.

After graduation, Bednarz will relocate to Houston and begin a career with Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., where he also interned in 2011 and 2012.