A Continuum of Giving: Jim Kinkead

news story image

Jim Kinkead (left) and Chair of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering Charles Schwartz.

The legacy of A. James Clark—eponym of the A. James Clark School of Engineering—lives on in the spirit of alumni whose generosity continues to support the foundation he built. Jim Kinkead (B.S. ’85), who has worked for Clark Construction for more than 30 years, understands the importance of giving back. Kinkead received a scholarship while attending the School of Engineering at the University of Maryland. He earned a degree in civil engineering from UMD, which he says provided him opportunities that he otherwise could not have dreamed of. Recognizing the good fortune resulting from his education and own career path, Kinkead believes in building opportunity for others. Like Clark, Kinkead and many other alumni give back to their alma mater to support the next generation of engineers.

Now senior vice president for Clark Construction, Kinkead has supported the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering Chair’s Fund for the past several years. The fund is used for initiatives such as improving student advising services in the department’s new Advising Suite and providing travel funds for students, such as the UMD’s Concrete Canoe team. Kinkead serves on the department’s Board of Visitors as chair of the Nominating Committee and Vice Chair elect. And, as a Clark Construction executive, he recruits heavily from students and alumni of the Clark School.

Kinkead emphasizes the ‘getting involved’ part of giving back. For alumni who are looking for ways to support the Clark School, Kinkead’s experience demonstrates that giving back can take many forms.

“I’m fortunate to have a seat at the table—to help shape the direction and focus of the department, in whatever small way can help make a difference,” he says. “As a Board of Visitors member, I share industry observations and priorities that can inform the development of curriculum and laboratory spaces at the school.”

Clark Construction’s philanthropic corporate culture has fostered Kinkead’s participation. “Sharing expertise at career events, mentoring students, serving as a guest speaker in classes—these are all ways alumni can help strengthen the education and training of engineering students at UMD,” he explains.

Over his career, Kinkead has led the construction of many landmark projects in the Baltimore–Washington Metropolitan area. These projects range from cabinet level buildings, including headquarters for the Department of Transportation, Social Security Administration, and the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, to large mixed-use projects, including Constitution Square (Office Buildings 1, 2, and 3 and Residential Buildings 1 and 2), Clarendon Center, City Market at O Street, Pike & Rose, and the Darcy and Flats residential mixed use projects in Bethesda, Md. Other significant projects include historic renovations to museums and office buildings, and development of high-end residential projects and class A office buildings.

Clark founded OMNI Construction, a subsidiary of the George Hyman Construction Company, and in 1996, the two companies merged to become Clark Construction. Clark Construction is a corporate donor and partner of the Clark School.

The A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland serves as the catalyst for high-quality research, innovation, and learning, delivering on a promise that all graduates will leave ready to impact the Grand Challenges (energy, environment, security, and human health) of the 21st century. The Clark School is dedicated to leading and transforming the engineering discipline and profession, to accelerating entrepreneurship, and to transforming research and learning activities into new innovations that benefit millions. Visit us online at www.eng.umd.edu and follow us on Twitter @ClarkSchool.

Published November 21, 2016