Verizon Network Services President Paul Lacouture Earns Annual Electrical and Computer Engineering Award From Worcester Polytechnic Institute

WORCESTER, Mass. - Citing his over 30-years of industry-leading contributions in the computer and telecommunications fields, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has named Verizon Network Services President Paul Lacouture the winner of the university's annual Hobart Newell Alumni Award.

Lacouture, a 1972 graduate of WPI, received the 2003 award during a dinner here last Friday.

The award is named for WPI teacher Hobart H. Newell, who taught and mentored in the university's Electrical Engineering Department from 1921 until his retirement in 1965. The award is given annually to an alumnus or alumna for his or her outstanding contributions to the electrical engineering profession.

"Paul, your vision and thoughtful approach to the challenging and changing landscape in the computer and telecommunications fields during the past three decades would have made Hobart Newell a proud man," said WPI President Edward A. Parrish. "He would have applauded your remarkable engineering talents and your savvy business acumen."

Lacouture said, "I never forget for one minute that my undergraduate education here at WPI built the foundation for my career in this industry. I sincerely appreciate the recognition, and I applaud the ongoing work of WPI and its faculty in teaching our future technology leaders."

In 1972, Lacouture began his telecommunications career at New England Telephone, one of the predecessor companies of Verizon, and served in several engineering and network design positions until 1984. After earning his Master's of Business Administration degree that year from Northeastern University, he was appointed vice president for New England Telephone in Vermont. In 1990, he became managing director of corporate planning.

He was promoted several more times in the 1990s, serving in leading technology and engineering positions at the NYNEX and Bell Atlantic companies. When Bell Atlantic and GTE merged to create Verizon in 2000, he was appointed to his current position.

As president of Verizon's Network Services Group, Lacouture is responsible for Verizon's domestic and international wireline local, long-distance, voice and data networks. In this capacity, he oversees the company's Network Operations, Real Estate, Engineering and Planning, Corporate Sourcing, Wholesale and Technology departments.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1865, WPI is a pioneer in technological higher education. WPI was the first university to understand that students learn best when they have the opportunity to apply the knowledge they gain in the classroom to the solution of important problems. Today its students, working in teams at more than 20 project centers around the globe, put their knowledge and skills to work as they complete professional-level work that can have an immediate positive impact on society. WPI's innovative, globally focused curriculum has been recognized by leaders in industry, government and academia as the model for the technological education of tomorrow. Students emerge from this program as true technological humanists, well rounded, with the confidence, the interpersonal skills and the commitment to innovation they need to make a real difference in their professional and personal lives. The university awarded its first advanced degree in 1898. Today, its first-rate research laboratories support master's and Ph.D. programs in more than 30 disciplines in engineering, science and the management of technology. Located in the heart of the region's biotechnology and high-technology sectors, WPI has built research programs-including the largest industry/university alliance in North America-that have won it worldwide recognition.

Verizon Communications

A Fortune 10 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 136.6 million access line equivalents and 33.3 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is the third-largest long-distance carrier for U.S. consumers, with 13.2 million long-distance lines, and the company is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. With approximately $67 billion in annual revenues and 227,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.