Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award

The Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award is awarded to a member of the alumni community who has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to the College of Engineering and Bucknell University, exemplary professional achievement, or noteworthy contributions to society.

2020 Recipient

Lance Fritz ’85

Lance Fritz ’85 graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering. In 1991, he earned a master’s degree from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

At Bucknell, Fritz was a member of the crew team and Delta Upsilon fraternity. Since graduation, he has volunteered at the University as part of the Center for Career Advancement Externship Program, a Freeman College of Management speaker, a College of Engineering volunteer and a Walling Lecture Series speaker.

Fritz has given back to the University through the Fritz Family Dean of Students endowment, which enables Bucknell’s Division of Student Affairs to enhance student health and wellness outreach, including alcohol and other drug abuse prevention. Additional funds support initiatives that focus on belonging and connection with an emphasis on developing healthy lifestyles and outdoor pursuits. 

Fritz is the chairman, president and chief executive officer at Union Pacific Railroad, which is based in Omaha, Neb., and operates in 23 western states. He became president and CEO in February 2015, and was named chairman of the board later that same year. 

Fritz joined Union Pacific in 2000 as vice president and general manager—energy in the company’s marketing and sales department. Before Union Pacific, Fritz worked for Fiskars Inc., Cooper Industries and General Electric.

Fritz was named to the board of directors of Parker-Hannifin Corporation in 2021. He also serves on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce board and executive committee, and the Georgia Institute of Technology president’s advisory board. Fritz is chairman of the board of directors for the Association of American Railroads, chair of the Business Roundtable trade and international committee, and a member of The Business Council.

Fritz is deeply involved with organizations in his local community. He is a member of the board of directors for Nebraska Medicine and Omaha Zoological Society. He also serves on the STRATCOM consultation committee and is the Omaha Business Ethics Alliance trustee chair. 

Fritz is married to Julie Crenson Fritz, also a Bucknell Class of 1985 mechanical engineer. They have two children and are committed to helping women and children at risk in the Omaha community.

Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award

Contact Details

College of Engineering


235 Dana Engineering Building


8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.