NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- G. David Forney Jr., New Canaan Country School Class of 1954, will be presented with the 2016 Alumni Award by the school's Alumni Council.
Forney will return to campus on Friday, May 20, to accept the honor and to share with students, alumni and guests highlights of his career as a pioneer in the field of data communications.
“Dave Forney has made tremendous contributions to the field of data communications,” said Head of School Robert P. Macrae. “His career and passion for electrical engineering led to his design of the first coding system to go into space as well as the first high-speed modem. In this ever-changing world of technology and telecommunications, we very much look forward to welcoming Dave back to the Country School campus.”
“I have always considered myself extraordinarily lucky to have had the benefit of the best education the U.S. has to offer, beginning with the New Canaan Country School, which was extremely important to me,” Forney said. “With that start, I couldn’t have gone very wrong. I am therefore particularly touched to receive the NCCS Alumni Award.”
After Country School, Forney attended the Choate School in Wallingford. He received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University in 1961, and master's degree and doctorate in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1963 and 1965.
In 1965, he joined Codex Corp., where he designed the first coding system to go into space for a NASA Pioneer deep-space mission in 1968. In 1970, he developed the first modern high-speed telephone line modem, which was the basis of Codex’ subsequent commercial success. He has been an adjunct professor at MIT since 1996.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers will honor him with its 2016 IEEE Medal of Honor, the highest award bestowed by this society.
New Canaan Country School is an independent, private day school for students in pre-K to grade 9.