Our Tribute to an Extraordinary Friend

It is with great sadness that we share the news that Mr. Arthur H. Nelson, long-time President of our Board of Trustees, passed away on November 28, 2015 at age 92.

A founder and loyal benefactor of our Museum since its beginning in 1980, it was Mr. Nelson’s steadfast commitment to innovation and his generosity that defined the Museum for many years.   A great man, mentor, and friend, Mr. Nelson inspired many others, and no one has ever set a better example of how to live a professional life that is both meaningful and successful.

The astonishingly versatile Mr. Nelson founded seventeen different entities, nine of them nonprofits.  Among many fields, he was a leader in real estate, education, environmentalism, and technology. Just this list of some organizations he founded is impressive indeed:

Arthur H. Nelson, pictured here with Marcia M. Folsom, President of our Board of Trustees on the day Mr. Nelson was presented with the Museum's inaugural Spirit of Innovation Award in June 2014.

Arthur H. Nelson, pictured here with Marcia M. Folsom, President of our Board of Trustees on the day Mr. Nelson was presented with the Museum's inaugural Spirit of Innovation Award in June 2014.

  • Technical Education Research Laboratories (TERC)
  • The Boston Computer Society
  • The Charles River Public Internet Center
  • The Waltham Tourism Council
  • The 128 Business Council
  • The Nelson Companies, and of course,
  • The Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation

A social entrepreneur long before the practice was common or the term even existed, Arthur Nelson throughout his professional life applied technology and innovation to solve social problems. He did well, he did good, and in so doing he has left this world a much better place.

Arthur Nelson’s vision, leadership, and legacy as a doer and not just a thinker will continue to inspire us as we seek to maintain his values and fulfill the promise he saw in this Museum to inspire future innovators, and to educate—the bedrock of our Mission.

Arthur Nelson, we will remember you, and miss you, always.

Douglas G. Waybright
Trustee, Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation
President, The Nelson Companies