January 17, 2000
University Life Trustee and ECE Faculty Chair Donor Stephen J. Jatras, distinguished philanthropist, businessman, civic leader, inventor and engineer, died January 4. He was 73.
Jatras was the retired chairman of Telex-Memorex Corporation, a Carnegie Mellon Life Trustee, and a recent chair of the ECE Department Advisory Board. He was awarded the Alumni Association's Merit and Service Awards and, in 1995, he received the Andrew Carnegie Philanthropic Award in recognition of his generosity to the university, which included funding the Skibo Coffeehouse in the University Center. In 1997 he endowed a faculty chair in the ECE Department.
In addition to his devotion to Carnegie Mellon, Jatras provided leadership for numerous academic, civic and community service organizations in Tulsa, Oklahoma which had been his home since 1952. He served as a trustee at the University of Tulsa and as a regent at Tulsa Community College. As chair of the Tulsa River Parks Authority over the past decade he worked to expand wilderness areas.
Over the years, Jatras headed many Tulsa area civic and charitable organizations. He was the recipient of the Boy Scouts' Silver Beaver Award in 1988 and the Salvation Army's Others Award in 1996. In 1992 he was honored with the United Way's Alexis de Tocqueville Society Award for community service in recognition of more than a decade of service and leadership in the United Way. He was elected to the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1995.
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.