Chapter Eternal: Chandler Stevens Jr., Georgia Tech ’54

Feb 15, 2012

CHAPTER ETERNAL — Chandler “Harry” Stevens Jr., Georgia Tech ’54, died Wednesday, February 1, 2012, from the effects of Parkinson’s disease.

In an article by the Post Bulletin:
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Joann; daughters, Emily Stevens (Bix Skahill) of St. Paul and Maria Stevens Bollinger (Murray) of Boston, Mass.; grandson, Dexter Skahill; sister, Sally Stevens Luck (Edward); and six nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by an infant son and his parents, Chandler Harrison Stevens Sr., and Margaret Cheyney Stevens.

Harry was born Jan 3, 1935, in Trenton, N.J. Raised in Yardley, Pa., he was a graduate of George School (1952). He earned a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering at Georgia Tech (1956) and a Ph.D. in Economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1967).

Active in public service and politics throughout his life, Harry was recognized as a pioneer in computer networking with a passion for citizen feedback, environmental protection, and social justice. As a U.S. Air Force officer, he programmed computers at the Pentagon in the late-1950s before joining a management consulting firm in Boston in 1960. As the first Independent elected in 50 years, he served in the Massachusetts State Legislature 1965-1968. He was then appointed Science Advisor to the Governor of Puerto Rico. He developed computer conferencing software as founder/CEO of Participation Systems Inc., 1970-1986. He taught or researched at MIT, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Brandeis University, Riverland College, and the University of Minnesota.

After living in Massachusetts, Puerto Rico, Troy, N.Y., and Ann Arbor, Mich., he and Joann moved in 1990 to Austin, from where he continued to consult in management and technology.

As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine 1999-2001, he taught economic development, and he organized exchange programs for students and international press after returning home. In 2004, he was a Minnesota delegate to the Democratic National Convention. He volunteered for the Katrina Crisis Corps in 2005. For the past several years, he advocated for wind power, which he had first written about in 1955. He was, above all, a futurist.

Harry played trumpet, cut a mean rug on the dance floor, and loved to play games. He maintained lifelong friendships with his Alpha Tau Omega brothers from Georgia Tech and his George School classmates. His infectious enthusiasm will be greatly missed, and he will continue to be an inspiration to the many whose lives he touched.

A memorial service will be held in the spring; details will be available at

Donations in Harry’s memory may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research or the Paramount Theatre in Austin.


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