The Downings of New Hampshire made history this spring by becoming the first family to receive six honorary bachelor’s degrees from Wentworth—five of them posthumously.
The surviving Wentworth alumnus in the group, Jonathan Downing, attended a special Leopards Legacy Luncheon on campus April 21 to pick up his honorary degree. Family members of the other Downings were there to receive the honorary degrees on behalf of their relatives.
In addition to Jonathan Downing, Class of ’65, degrees were bestowed upon Jonathan’s great-uncle, Edward, Class of 1914; his grandfather, Lester, Class of 1916; his father, Judson, Class of ’40; and his uncles, Richard and Philip Downing, both from the Class of ’49.
The Downings attended Wentworth before it awarded bachelor’s and master’s degrees, when graduates earned only certificates and two-year degrees.
President Zorica Pantic called the family’s feat “remarkable.”
From China to Mexico to Hungary and across the United States, news of the Wentworth degree presentations to the Downings reached a worldwide audience through digital, print, and broadcast media outlets.
— Dennis Nealon