Brigadier General (Ret) James M. Abraham, BSEE '43 and BSIE '48
General James M. Abraham earned his Bachelor of Science degrees in both Electrical Engineering and Industrial Engineering from Ohio University. He also graduated from the Army Command and General Staff College and the Army War College.
General Abraham completed the requirements for his bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering in the summer of 1943. He was scheduled to participate in the 1944 commencement ceremony but was preoccupied with World War II. Around the time of the university's commencement, he was storming Omaha Beach in Normandy as a member of the United States Army. He received his battlefield commission from General George Patton in 1945.
General Abraham eventually returned to Ohio University after WWII to earn a bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering in 1948, and participated in the commencement ceremony that year, but still had not walked for his first degree. In 2010, 67 years after he earned his first degree, he walked in the commencement ceremony to receive his first diploma.
General Abraham retired in 1982 from the United States Army after a stellar career of service that spanned 40 years. Upon his return from WWII, he left active duty service and shortly thereafter joined the Ohio National Guard. He held numerous command and staff positions across Ohio, including Ohio University ROTC instructor (1958-1961), culminating as the Assistant Adjutant General of the Ohio National Guard.
As a civilian, he has served in industry, education, and government. General Abraham was instrumental in developing a novel method of municipal financing for Ohio’s cities. A registered professional engineer, he has been active in engineering and management consulting activities. He holds several patents for medium pressure systems and developed several key programs for the U.S. Army. He has published a book and has worked on additional books.
General Abraham has received numerous accolades including the Ohio Society of Professional Engineers Distinguished Award, induction into the Ohio Veterans’ Hall of Fame, induction into the Ohio National Guard Association Hall of Fame, the European Theater of Operations Medal with four bronze stars, and many other recognitions for his contributions and service, both professionally and personally.
General Abraham is credited for developing innovative concepts in ROTC instruction at Ohio University that have been implemented at other universities nationwide. He has endowed multiple student scholarships across many areas of the university, including English, cheerleading, ROTC, and engineering.
He is a member of the Russ College Board of Visitors and Army ROTC Society of Alumni and Friends Board. Accolades from Ohio University include induction into the Ohio University Army ROTC Hall of Fame and the Academy of Distinguished Graduates.
General Abraham is a native of Athens, Ohio. He passed away on November 8, 2015 at the age of 92. He is survived by his wife--Irene, daughter—Michele and son—Daniel.