The New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) community mourns the loss of one of its historic alumni, Kenneth A. Gibson, who died March 29. The 1962 graduate of the Newark College of Engineering (now NJIT) and recipient of an honorary doctorate from his alma mater in 1977 was the first African-American mayor of Newark. He also was the first African-American to serve as mayor of a major Northeast city.

First elected mayor of Newark in 1970, Gibson’s legacy extended beyond being a political trailblazer to his work as a distinguished municipal engineer. In that capacity, he served both the New Jersey Department of Transportation and the Newark Department of Engineering. Gibson also pioneered efforts to increase the participation of minorities and women in public construction projects.

NJIT salutes this distinguished alumnus for how he transformed the architectural and political landscape of Newark and New Jersey.