L. Edward Wilson, P.E. *

The highlight of my presidency may have been a staged debate over the wisdom of expanding ASFE membership beyond what were then “pure” geotechnical engineering firms (we were sort of a club). I was an advocate for providing membership status to affiliated individuals and firms. My view was NOT universally shared by the member firms. To put the argument in perspective the board suggested that the membership expansion issue be debated before the membership with me being the expansion advocate and Larry Roth (CH2MHill) taking the “purist” side to argue that our membership should remain exclusive. Larry (past president) soundly and mercilessly whipped my butt in the debate and membership status quo prevailed. Today “all who have an interest” in the geoprofession are eligible to join GBA. It took a while to open our membership. My unpersuasive debate performance in 1989 did nothing to accelerate the membership expansion process.