Baltimore native EDWARD J. SCHAEFER graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 1923 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. He joined General Electric after completing his undergraduate studies. In 1944, he and a partner founded the Franklin Electric Company, a manufacturer of submersibles, motors, and packaging and weighing equipment. Under his leadership as chief executive officer and chairman, the firm in Bluffton, Indiana, expanded to include four plants in the U.S. and three overseas. Today, Franklin Electric has grown into a multi-million-dollar global provider of complete water systems and fueling systems. The company now has 14 manufacturing and distribution facilities worldwide.
During his lifetime, Mr. Schaefer was a fellow of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers and held 80 U.S. patents. He served a term on The Johns Hopkins University Board of Trustees and was honored in 1978 with the university’s Distinguished Alumnus Award. Mr. Schaefer played a key role in the establishment of the Whiting School of Engineering as a member of the six-person ad hoc committee, chaired by Willard Hackerman, Engr ’38, that, in 1977, recommended and orchestrated the opening of a separate school of engineering.
Mr. Schaefer continued to work full time until his death in 1991 at the age of 90. He was predeceased by his wife of 59 years, HILDEGARDE SCHAEFER, who died in 1987. The Edward J. Schaefer Professorship in Electrical Engineering is one of two endowed professorships generously provided to the Whiting School by Mr. and Mrs. Schaefer to support the engineering faculty.