Mr. C. Edwin “Ed” Becraft

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Ed first arrived at GW in the fall of 1944 ready to study engineering, but as so often happens in life, his path to his degree contained some interesting side roads, including taking time out to work and being drafted into the U.S. Army Air Force in 1946.  In 1947, he was discharged from the military and returned to GW.  During his first spring after returning, he made the GW varsity baseball team as a walk-on pitcher, and after his first season, he was awarded a partial athletic scholarship. 

Ed was serious about his education and willing to do the work necessary to pay for it.  In addition to his partial scholarship and the GI bill, he worked each summer in a canning factory to make ends meet.  As a freshman, he hitchhiked daily from his family home in Gaithersburg to the Foggy Bottom campus.  This required Ed to get up well before dawn and hitch rides with farmers transporting their goods into Washington.  At the District line, he would catch a streetcar to the campus for 10 cents.  After his freshman year, his parents helped Ed get a car.

Ed marvels at the advancements in engineering and technology since his years at GW.  During a recent tour of the new Science and Engineering Hall, he recounted how he received a tutorial his freshman year on how to perform mathematical calculations on a slide rule.  Although classes were challenging, Ed found time to join the Gamma Beta chapter of the Theta Tau professional engineering fraternity.  He also found time to play varsity baseball through 1950 and in 1949 was voted the team’s most valuable player.

In 1951, he completed his studies and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.  He declined a contract offer by the Washington Senators to enter their minor league system and instead decided to take a job as a general field superintendent with the national construction subcontractor, the Anning-Johnson company.  Ed is quick to tell you that his degree from GW opened the door to his career in construction.

In 1963, Glen Construction Company, a promising young company with annual sales of $1.5 million, hired Ed as an estimator.  Ed spent 44 years with Glen.  In 1970, he was promoted to vice president of estimating, and was again promoted in 1982, this time to vice president of sales and marketing.  During the 1980s, Glen Construction Company’s annual sales reached $150 million, and the company was listed in ENR as one of the top 100 construction contractors in the U.S.  Three of the company’s most noteworthy projects include the Tycon Towers in Tysons Corner, VA; the Radisson Mark Plaza hotel in Alexandria, VA; and the One Washingtonian Center office building in Gaithersburg, MD.

In 2000 Ed was promoted to executive vice president, and he continued to serve in this role until 2008, when he retired at age 81, after 55 years in the construction industry.  Ed notes that he loved working in construction.  The construction projects gave him a gratifying sense of accomplishment, and more importantly, he really enjoyed the professional relationships that were such a large part of it.   

During his career, Ed was active in the Metro Washington Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors, serving as president of the chapter in 1981.  In 1982, he was inducted into the Faculty of Building in London, England.  He was recognized for his professional accomplishments again in 2012, when the American Subcontractors Association of Metro Washington honored him with the Arthur C. Meushaw Award.  The award recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to the construction industry throughout his career.  Ed remains a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and of the America Institute of Constructors.
 
Ed has been happily married for 60 years to June Becraft, and the couple has two sons and five grandchildren.  He occasionally plays golf with his sons, and he’s quite a respectable player: a few years ago when he was 88 he shot his age for 18 holes.