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When Maxwell Becton and Fairleigh Dickinson moved their operations from New York City to East Rutherford, New Jersey in 1906, they purchased sufficient land to build their plant and anticipate future growth. When expansion soon became necessary, the Seth Thomas Clock Company of Thomaston, Connecticut was hired to design and construct mechanical clockworks to be contained in the new south tower, with four iron and glass clock-faces, each 10’ in diameter. The clock tower soon became a landmark for the surrounding communities.
In 1969, in response to a tragic fire destroying a local high school, BD donated a portion of its undeveloped campus to the regional board of education for the construction of a new school that would be named in honor of Henry P. Becton, Chairman of the BD Executive Committee and son of BD Founder Maxwell Becton.
Years after BD moved its headquarters and the venerable clock tower was dismantled, Becton Regional High School underwent a $23 million expansion project, and one of the four original clock faces from the BD facility was donated and installed in a modern clock tower at the school. At a dedication ceremony outside of the high school's new addition on October 26, 2014, more than 80 people - including education officials, historians and BD executives - gathered, to dedicate the new clock tower as a symbol of the company’s connection to the community it called home until 1992.
“It does the company great honor that you have put this BD and East Rutherford icon on the face of your school,” said Vincent Forlenza, BD Chairman, chief Executive Officer and President. “Hank Becton would have been 100 years old this month. It is a wonderful way to honor his memory and the contributions of the Becton and the Dickinson families to the East Rutherford community, New Jersey and the world.”
In remarks at the ceremony, Henry Becton, Jr. noted that clock towers have always been the soul of a community. “Our association with East Rutherford and this school, which is named after my father, has always meant a great deal to our family,” he said. “We could not think of anything my father would have liked more than to have the BD clock installed in this beautiful building. Not only does it symbolize the community of people that Hank loved so much, but also, he believed strongly in high-quality public education. Thank you for honoring him in this way.”