Skip Navigation

William F. Ward Sr. Distinguished Professorship

WardWilliamWILLIAM F. WARD SR. graduated from Johns Hopkins in 1940 with a degree in engineering mechanics and served as a major in the Army Corp of Engineers during World War II. After the war he joined F.X. Hooper Company, which later became part of Koppers Company, and was general manager until 1959 when he left to join the Greenwood Engineering Company. When Greenwood merged with a New Jersey company several years later, Mr. Ward decided to start his own company.

Ward Machinery was founded in 1961 in the basement of Mr. Ward’s Lutherville home. With the assistance of his wife, Virginia, he designed and built the world’s first modern rotary die cutter–the primary die-cutting method for corrugated boxes. The machine was so revolutionary that nearly every piece of it had to be individually designed and manufactured. Mr. Ward’s invention transformed box fabrication by turning out finished boxes many times faster than in the previous method of die stamping. As a result, Ward Machinery expanded rapidly and was soon known internationally as a leading producer of machinery for the corrugated paper industry. Mr. and Mrs. Ward retired in 1984 and turned the company over to their son, William F. Ward Jr., who continued the company’s commitment to quality and innovation. Mr. Ward’s love of all things mechanical carried over to his personal life as well. In the early 1970s he began building radio-controlled airplanes that he often flew in his backyard. As his interest grew so did the size of the plane. After his retirement in 1984, Mr. Ward began building a full-sized glider plane, which he flew himself seven years later. He was in the process of building a self-launching glider when he passed away in late 1991. An airplane club in Pennsylvania finished the project and later flew the plane in his honor. Mrs. Ward passed away in 1988. The Wards also have a daughter, Virginia P. Jenkins, and six grandchildren.