Ratan Tata awarded honorary doctorate from Clemson University

Degree conferred at auto summit in South Carolina.

By Raif Karerat

WASHINGTON, DC: Clemson University has honored the chairman emeritus of India’s largest automotive manufacturer Tata Motors, Ratan Tata, with an honorary Doctorate of Automotive Engineering at the South Carolina Automotive Summit, on Tuesday.

Tata, a Padma Vibhushan awardee, was the chairman of the major Tata companies, including Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Power, Tata Global Beverages, Tata Chemicals, Indian Hotels and Tata Teleservices. During his tenure, the group’s revenues grew tremendously and totaled over $100 billion in 2011-12.

It’s the first time Clemson has ever presented an honorary degree outside of commencement and its main campus.

“I am so pleased that Clemson is recognizing Ratan Tata with an honorary degree,” said James P. Clements, president of Clemson University, in a release. “He is truly a global leader whose impact reaches far beyond the borders of India. Mr. Tata leads with integrity and compassion and is an outstanding role model for our students.”

Dean of Clemson’s College of Engineering and Science Anand Gramopadhye said in a statement that Tata not only is a titan in the automotive industry in India, but he also is a giant in the global marketplace. He has led a worldwide enterprise with interests in transportation, steel, consulting, communications, chemicals and hospitality, just to name a few.

“Under his stewardship, the Tata Group of Companies ushered in an economic renaissance resulting in the betterment of human life,” Gramopadhye said. “This is his most notable legacy, the one that is being written in the hearts and minds of the people touched by his generous philanthropy. Countless citizens of the world enjoy an improved quality of life because of his visionary leadership and desire to serve others.”

Tata joined the Tata Group in 1962. In 1981 he was named chairman of Tata Industries where he was responsible for transforming it into a group strategy think tank and a promoter of new ventures in high technology businesses.

Frederick Cartwright, executive director of the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research, said in a statement:  “Mr. Tata epitomizes all that CU-ICAR stands for: international leadership in the advancement of the automotive industry and the fostering of economic development that benefits the local community, state and region.”

Tata serves on the board of directors of Alcoa and Mondelez. He is also on the international advisory boards of Mitsubishi Corp., JP Morgan Chase, Rolls-Royce, Temasek Holdings and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

A graduate of Cornell University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in architecture, Tata went on to complete the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

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