August 1, 2016

MIT Sea Grant bids farewell to former Director Captain (Ret.) Dean Alden Horn, USN

Captain Dean Alden Horn, USN retired, Director of MIT Sea Grant College program from 1976-1982, passed away last month in North Carolina where he had lived for the past 25 years. He was 95 years old.

Born in Hay Springs, Nebraska, on February 19th, 1921 Dean had a 27 year distinguished career as an officer in the US Navy, he oversaw MIT Sea Grant receive it’s coveted College program status, the first private institution to achieve this, and he was the executive officer for two international Arctic research programs.

Dean graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in June 1943. Upon graduation he served as a Submarine Officer on both the USS PORPOISE and the USS CARP, earning a Silver Star medal for “Conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action as Diving Officer of the USS CARP during the First War Patrol of that vessel.” In 1945, Dean began graduate school at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. After completing his professional engineering degree in 1949, he switched communities to become an Engineering Duty Officer and served at seven different commands completing Dean’s twenty-seven year Naval career. His final two years of active duty were as Commanding Officer of the Naval Administrative Unit, MIT where he commanded the NROTC unit and taught the student Naval Officers taking the graduate course to become Naval Engineers – a rewarding capstone to Dean’s career.

In September 1970 Dean accepted the position of Executive Officer at MIT Sea Grant Program. He was a part of the team that lead MIT Sea Grant to receive College Program status, the highest designation available in the Sea Grant network in 1976. Shortly thereafter, Dean was named the Director of MIT Sea Grant, a post he held until July of 1982. In recognition of Dean’s extensive work with undergraduate marine education, his pursuit of excellence, and his tireless application to research an award was established in his name. The Dean Horn Award is presented yearly, along with a $1,000 stipend, to an undergraduate student who demonstrates excellence in design and execution of marine research as well as the ability to clearly communicate their results.

After leaving MIT Sea Grant, Dean became the Executive Officer for two international Arctic research programs MIZEX and CEAREX.

In 1992 Dean retired to New Bern, NC where he lived the rest of his life with his wife, Sharon.


A full obituary can be found here: Captain (Ret.) Dean Alden Horn, USN. It was Dean’s fervent wish and request that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to MIT Sea Grant Dean A. Horn Student Award Fund (MIT Account No. 40055) or to any charity of your choice.

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