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VU awards Albert Chen honorary doctorate

December 14, 2020

VINCENNES, Ind. –  Vincennes University awarded an Honorary Doctor of Business degree to Albert Chen, the founder and executive chairman of one of the largest private companies in Indiana, during the University’s Mid-Year Virtual Commencement on Dec. 12.

Chen is the founder of the Telamon Corporation headquartered in Carmel, Indiana. Telamon operates globally in 48 states nationwide with international locations spanning three continents. Telamon Corporation’s mission is to “enable connectivity that enables life”. In today’s ever-evolving digital world, Telamon leads the pack by designing, building, and installing telecommunication networks enabling connectivity in all forms, from traditional mobile phone usage and connectivity in stadiums, hospitals, and, schools, all the way down to connected safety in our cars with the industrial manufacturing of wire harnesses for airbag and seatbelt applications.

Chen received the honorary degree for his outstanding leadership and tremendous commitment to advancing innovative technology, business, intercultural and international relationships, and higher education.

"Mr. Chen is most deserving of VU's highest recognition because of his decades-long service to the people of Indiana in both business and public service arenas,” VU Board of Trustees Chair John Stachura said. “His philosophy in business and in life is a great example for current VU students and alumni."

VU’s honorary degrees are bestowed upon notable individuals in recognition of their achievements, life experiences, or humanitarian efforts. More than 140 honorary degrees have been awarded since 1952.

“When I received the call from Dr. (Chuck) Johnson advising VU will offer me an honorary doctoral degree, I was surprised and speechless,” Chen said. “I was thinking to myself, “Am I really qualified to receive this degree from the oldest university in Indiana?”

Telamon is the Greek word for support. 

In addition to his business success, Chen is a champion of enhancing international relationships, particularly between Indiana and Asia. He is a great supporter of organizations throughout the state, including many that support intercultural and international relationships in Asia and China. Chen has dedicated his vision, leadership, talent, and energy to supporting Hoosiers, the state of Indiana, and VU. 

Chen arrived in the United States from Taiwan in 1968. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College’s Minority Business Executive Program. He also received an M.S. in Mathematical Sciences from Portland State University and an LL.B. from National Cheng-Chi University in Taiwan. He was awarded an honorary doctoral degree in 2017 from his alma mater, Portland State University.

Chen founded Telamon in 1985. It has grown to a $770 million company with more than 2,000 employees in 2019.

Telamon and VU have cultivated a partnership that is introducing the use of collaborative robots (cobots) in advanced manufacturing and other industries in Indiana. Through Chen’s leadership, VU forged a four-way partnership with Lunghwa University in Taiwan, Techman Cobots, and the Telamon Corporation that will lead to workforce programming and curriculum development. It is because of Chen’s generosity that VU has acquired three Techman Cobots that are now deployed in the University’s Gene Haas Training Center in Lebanon, Indiana.

“After a 30-year business career, we began considering the field of technological applications used in manufacturing for small – to medium-sized companies, since the United States’ manufacturing processes lagged behind Europe and Asia,” Chen said. “This sparked my passion and desire for helping the state of Indiana to upgrade our smart manufacturing skill set. I was aware of VU’s solid foundation of helping Indiana manufacturers, students, and the workforce. After I visited VU to discuss my ideas, I was impressed by VU’s friendliness and eagerness to work with a private company. The impression led me to pursue the Telamon-VU partnership. I aspire to help VU contribute to their future expansion and accelerate the upgrading of Indiana’s workforce.”

The values of honesty, harmony, simplicity, and stewardship are cornerstones of how Telamon does business. They are also evident in Chen’s community engagement.

Chen founded a pair of non-profit organizations. The Asian American Alliance (AAAI) trains Asian Americans for leadership positions. The America China Society of Indiana (ACSI) focuses on building trade relationships between Indiana and China.

He has served on boards for the International Center of Indianapolis, Indiana University School of Informatics, Butler University, Purdue University’s Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, Rose International, and Commissioner for Indiana Integrated Public Safety Commission. 

Chen currently serves on the board of the Lingnan Foundation and Old National Bank Center for Business Excellence at Butler University.

His many awards include: The Best of Tech in Indiana - Corporate Innovator of the Year, National Minority Supplier Development Council Clarion Award, AT&T Success Partner Medallion, Cisco Best Diverse Supplier Award, Junior Achievement Indiana Business Hall of Fame Inductee, and the State of Indiana’s highest award, Sagamore of The Wabash

Watch the awarding of Albert Chen's honorary degree and the Vincennes University Mid-Year Commencement 2020: https://www.vincennespbs.org/2020/12/08/saturday-at-11am-vincennes-universitys-midyear-commencement/

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