L. Leslie Waters


Honorary Degree (1987)
Doctor of Laws
Location: Bloomington
Presenter: John William Ryan


Professor Waters was a member of the IU faculty for 30 years. He has been internationally renowned for his accomplishments as both an educator and a businessman. He will especially be remembered for his teaching excellence and his efforts to find good jobs for his students.

Waters was instrumental in building the transportation program at the IU School of Business from a one-man force when he joined the faculty in 1948, to a department of seven full professors and two associate professors at the time of this retirement. Under his guidance, IU has produced about one-fourth of all the doctorates in transportation awarded in the U.S.

His involvement in the transportation industry has extended far beyond his work at IU. He has been director of several companies, including the Louisville, New Albany & Corydon Railroad Co. and Yellow Freight System. His national service includes being a member of the Transportation Council of the U.S. Department of Commerce from 1956-61. He was president and chairman of the board of the American Society of Traffic and Transportation and remained as a director. He was the first president of the Midwest Business Administration Association and in 1974 was chairman of the Transportation and Public Utilities section of the American Economic Association.

In 1984 he was given the National Defense Transportation Association's President's Award in recognition of his nine years of work on the Military Airlift Committee from 1974-83. His extensive honors include Beta Gamma Sigma's Distinguished Business Scholar in 1976, the American Society of Traffic and Transportation 1978 Award for Excellence, an honorary doctorate from the University of Gent in Belgium and one from Indiana University.

He has served on the editorial boards of the Transportation Journal, Business Horizons, and the Houghton Mifflin Co. He has authored several books, more than 100 journal articles and testified before regulatory agencies at all levels.