The Stephen J. Jatras Professorship in Electrical and Computer Engineering was established in 1997. It has been held by Mark H. Kryder (first recipient, 1997), Rob A. Rutenbar (second recipient, 2001), and Gregory R. Ganger (current, 2010-).
Born in McKeesport, Pa., Mr. Stephen J. Jatras worked at the Lockheed Corporation and Midwestern Instruments before joining Telex as its president in 1966. In 1981, he became chairman and chief executive of Telex. There he presided over seven years of rising profits, pioneering the plug-to-plug peripheral business for the computer industry with the first non-IBM drive that could plug directly into an IBM computer. When Telex partnered with Memorex in 1987, Mr. Jatras became vice chairman of Memorex-Telex, a position he held until his retirement in 1990.
In addition to his business career, Mr. Jatras was active in education.
Mr. Jatras received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University (1947), and an M. S. degree, also in electrical engineering, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1952). He was a lifetime trustee of Carnegie Mellon and co-chaired the ECE Advisory Board from its inception in 1992. He was awarded the Carnegie Mellon Alumni Association's Merit and Service Awards and, in 1995, the Andrew Carnegie Philanthropic Award, in recognition of his generosity to the university. In 1997 he endowed this faculty chair in the ECE Department.
Mr. Jatras was also a member of the University of Tulsa board of trustees and the Board of Regents of Tulsa Junior College, which subsequently became Tulsa Community College. He also held an appointment with the Oklahoma Regents for Higher Education. He was a strong advocate of the expansion of OneNet, Oklahoma's statewide telecommunications and information network for education and government.
Mr. Jatras died on January 8, 2000 at the age of 73.