It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Charles “Charlie” Thornton II, the founder of the ACE Mentor Program of America and a visionary leader in the AEC industry.
To honor his legacy, the Charles H. Thornton Memorial Scholarship has been established. Scholarships will be awarded to deserving ACE alumni who share Charlie’s passion for shaping the built environment.
Charlie was a world-renowned structural engineer and the founder of Thornton Tomasetti. He started our beloved ACE Mentor Program in 1994 when he saw a decline in engineering enrollment at his alma mater, Manhattan College. His belief in the transformative power of education and mentoring took ACE Mentor from a single team of students in New York City to over 10,000 students a year across more than 70 metro areas today. ACE Mentor Programs spread so quickly because of Charlie’s intense passion.
Charlie’s impact on this world is immeasurable. His pioneering work in structural engineering reshaped skylines and he set new standards for innovation in the built environment. And so importantly, his commitment to nurturing the next generation of professionals has made an indelible impact in the lives of countless young people.
Charlie Thornton was the proud son of a bricklayer who went on to earn his Ph.D. in Structural Engineering from NYU. He leaves behind a legacy of innovation, education, and mentorship that will endure for generations. As we mourn his loss, let us also celebrate the extraordinary life of a man whose passion and vision continue to shape our lives.
Charlie was also a proud husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather and we ask you to please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers during this time.