Stephen J. Jatras

Stephen J. Jatras was a distinguished philanthropist, businessman, civic leader, inventor and engineer. Jatras earned a B.S.E.E. (1947) from Carnegie Institute of Technology and an M.S.E.E. (1952) from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was a native of McKeesport, Pa.

In 1965, Jatras joined Telex Corp. He was appointed President in 1966, and was elected Chairman in 1981. At Telex, he decided that it would be feasible to design an interface for a tape drive to plug into an IBM computer. This became the first non-IBM drive that could plug directly into an IBM computer. Thus, Jatras pioneered the plug-to-plug peripheral business for the computer industry.

Jatras retired as chairman of the Telex-Memorex Corporation, and subsequently became a Carnegie Mellon Life Trustee, and a chair of the ECE Department Advisory Board. 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.  He passed away in 2000, but left a lasting legacy of philanthropy at Carnegie Mellon, as well as numerous academic, civic and community service organizations in his home city of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Pictures from the Jatras Chair award ceremony. Click on images to enlarge them.