March 31, 2022
New Scholarship Fund Honors Accomplished Alums DiGioia and Gray
In 1952, Carnegie Tech Civil Engineering classmates Anthony DiGioia Jr. (BS ‘56, MS ‘57, PhD ‘60) and Richard Gray (BS‘56) teamed up as lab partners. Seventy years later, their partnership is still going strong, currently, through DiGioia Gray & Associates, an engineering consulting firm the pair co-founded in 2004.
For decades, DiGioia and Gray have been renowned in civil and geotechnical engineering. Now, the Anthony M. DiGioia Jr. and Richard E. Gray Engineering Scholarship will honor their partnership and many accomplishments—among which they both are Distinguished Members of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and Carnegie Mellon Alumni Achievement Award recipients.
The scholarship will support CEE undergraduates in pursuing their degrees, as DiGioia and Gray attribute much of their own success to the strong academic foundation and relationships forged at Carnegie Tech. “We had excellent faculty members who had a tremendous influence on our lives,” says DiGioia. Among them was Dr. Elio D’Appolonia (affectionately known as D’App), who employed both students part-time. “D’App was an unbelievably kind, wonderful person,” DiGioia recalls.
“He taught us a lot, especially about how to use the knowledge that we gained through class in practice.” DiGioia and Gray worked with D’Appolonia during their undergraduate and graduate studies, gaining invaluable experience, connections, and mentorship. He encouraged them to join associations like ASCE and supported them attending meetings and trainings nationwide, where they learned from the industry’s smartest minds.
Eventually, DiGioia and Gray started their own firm, General Analytics Incorporated (now GAI Consultants). Through their professional success and increasing involvement and leadership in industry organizations, the pair rapidly gained acclaim in their fields. After decades of growth, DiGioia and Gray retired from GAI in the early 2000s, but their clients weren’t ready for them to stop consulting. Soon, DiGioia Gray & Associates was born, offering civil, electrical, geotechnical, and structural engineering services. A commitment to engineering education and mentorship was a pillar for the firm.
“We saw how D’App treated us and helped us. He was a great mentor,” says Gray. “We learned from him, and we’re just following his example.” “We’re carrying it forward. It’s important to pass it on to the next generation,” adds DiGioia, who previously served as a CEE adjunct professor and a member of the CEE Advisory Council. In addition to staying in close contact with the CEE department, both DiGioia and Gray have been active in the CMU Alumni Association and class reunions for years.
DiGioia Gray & Associates representatives also regularly attend Carnegie Mellon career fairs, and multiple alumni are among their staff, including DiGioia’s daughter, Paula DiGioia Deasy (TPR ‘88). Counting Deasy, four of DiGioia’s eight children, and two of his grandchildren have attended Carnegie Mellon. His grandson Gideon is currently a first-year student at CMU.
Deasy and her older brother, Tony DiGioia III (CivE ‘79, BME ‘82), initiated the Anthony M. DiGioia Jr. and Richard E. Gray Engineering Scholarship Fund for undergraduates to honor their father and his business partner. The scholarship was initially endowed with contributions from family members and from the firm, DiGioia Gray & Associates.
“The firm is built on their value of mentoring people and teaching best practices that push the industry forward,” says Deasy. ”This fund matches those values and these two are a great example of what Carnegie Mellon graduates can do.”