Joseph Hughes’ association with IEEE made an indelible mark on his life and career – so much so that he’s now helping to provide opportunities in engineering education for others. After joining IEEE and the Delta Chapter of Eta Kappa Nu (HKN) as a student at Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL, US, Hughes joined the faculty of Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA, US in 1986 and became actively involved in IEEE and the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
Among other milestones, Hughes went on to serve as President of the IEEE Education Society as well as a member of the IEEE Technical Activities and IEEE Educational Activities Boards, involvements which both enhanced his professional development and widened his network of industry colleagues and friends.
Upon his recent retirement from Georgia Tech after 34 years, Hughes opted to include the IEEE Foundation in his estate plan as an esteemed member of the IEEE Goldsmith Legacy League, through which members can leave a legacy gift to benefit future generations of engineers, and directed his bequest to IEEE-HKN and IEEE educational programs designed for pre-university and university students. “I’ve become more attentive to the concept of legacy — not because I worry about how I’ll be remembered, but because I want to ensure the future of things that matter to me,” he explained.
Hughes encourages other IEEE members to pay tribute to those who helped them by helping others coming up in the field. “If someone spends their career in one or more IEEE fields of interest, an estate gift is a way to pay back those who came before you and created your opportunities as well as a way to pay it forward to ensure that opportunities will be there for the next generation,” he said. “Supporting the IEEE Foundation with an estate gift accomplishes these objectives while allowing for the inevitable changes that will occur within our profession in the coming decades.”