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Of our more than 50,000 living alumni, untold thousands have left a lasting mark on the world. They are creators and innovators, explorers, leaders, teachers and entrepreneurs.
But only a select few qualify as those whose work, leadership and contributions have made a lasting impact on our world and campus. These are the alumni whose accomplishments and contributions are truly remarkable.
These are the Alumni of Influence.
Thomas Akers: astronaut and educator
Col. Thomas "Tom" Akers, Math'73, MS Math'75, is a veteran of four space shuttle missions and was S&T's first astronaut. He has spent more than 800 hours in orbit, including more than 29 hours of extra-vehicular activity (space walking).
Dick Arnoldy: investing in destinies
Now that Dick Arnoldy, CE '69, MS EMgt '73, is retired from St. Louis-based Arco Construction, which he co-founded in 1992, he is embarking on a new career of sorts in international finance. He is now in the business of facilitating loans, but not the kind you might think.
Keith Bailey: teamwork translated
Sports fans love big plays: The Hail Mary, the walk-off home run, the buzzer-beater jump shot. These are feats that create instant heroes.
Jerry Bayless: Mr. Miner
Jerry Bayless, CE '59, MS CE '62, is an institution at this institution. He has been on the faculty since 1959. He served for many years as assistant to the chair of the civil engineering department and as an advisor to freshmen and transfer students.
Robert Bay: setting standards
Bay works on research for Laclede Steel Co. at Washington University in St. Louis. His work was used in the construction of the World Trade Center.
Jon Bereisa: driven to excel
Jon Bereisa, EE '67, MS EE '70, president and CEO of Auto Lectrification, is one of the global automotive industry's "Electrifying 100" the most influential people working on the electrification of the automobile, according to Automotive News.
Jim Bertelsmeyer: Improving education
Whether he's helping a grade school in his hometown or improving facilities at S&T, Jim Bertelsmeyer, ChE'66, is passionate about supporting science and engineering education.
Philip Chen: design and develop
At the dawn of the computer age, only big companies could afford printers. They worked like high-speed typewriters, printing character by character, line by line.
Delbert Day: glass master and cancer fighter
In 2010, people from around the world traveled to Missouri for a chance to meet Delbert Day, Curator's Professor emeritus of materials science and engineering at S&T.
Farouk El-Baz: remote-sensing guru
Free of rocks and flat enough for a safe landing, the Sea of Tranquility turned out to be the spot.
John Fairbanks: calculators and computers
Many former Rolla students remember their first calculator — the TI-30 — but no one remembers it quite like John Fairbanks, EE'71.
Gary Forsee: down to business
When Gary Forsee, CE'72, became president of the four-campus University of Missouri System in 2008, the national and state economy was about to go from bad to worse.
Gary Havener: no excuses
Gary Havener was raised on a dairy farm near Mexico, Mo. "When you grow up on a dairy farm, there are no excuses," he says. "You've got to milk the cows in the morning and you've got to milk the cows in the evening.
Thomas Holmes: hometown hero
Through the eyes of a 10-year-old boy, losing a parent can be devastating, but for Thomas Holmes, the death of his father during the Great Depression brought with it a passion for helping others.
Vernon Jones: pipeline to prosperity
In 1973, Saudi Arabia and other Arab producers set up an oil embargo against the United States to protest the nation's support of Israel. Although short-lived, the embargo was a turning point in the politics of oil and one that Vernon Jones, CE '53, witnessed as president and CEO of the Explorer Pipeline Co.
Fred Kummer: hospitals and hospitality
At age 82, Fred Kummer, CE '55, is in the office every day; still a hands-on leader. As president and CEO of St. Louis-based HBE Corp., the nation's leading design-build firm specializing in health care, Kummer is a scrapper who built his own company from the ground up, reaching a pinnacle of business success that few others have.
John Mathes: environmentally engaged
In the life of any university, there are alumni whose contributions make a difference beyond the ordinary. Some make financial contributions that transform the campus or the educational experience.
George Mueller: mission possible
George Mueller, EE'39, once acknowledged in an interview what would have happened if his idea for "all-up" testing had failed. "The whole Apollo program and my reputation would have gone down the drain," he said.
Zebulun Nash: pragmatic idealist
Zebulun "Zeb" Nash, ChemE '72, got interested in engineering as a kid, thanks in part to the space race. Three years after the Eagle landed, he earned his degree from Missouri S&T.
Mariana Rodriguez: peruvian pioneer
By anyone's standards, Mariana Rodriguez, CE '80, is a trailblazer. After graduation, she returned to her native Peru to become a leader in the field of higher education, helping found two universities and two technical institutes in the country.
Richard Stegemeier: energy evangelist
As "eminent members of the engineering profession," members of the National Academy of Engineering are the people society looks to for guidance about the technical challenges facing our nation.
Steve Sullivan: making magic
Entertainment Weekly called Davy Jones from the Pirates of the Caribbean one of the most convincing computer-generated characters in film history. The technology used to create that character and many others was developed with the assistance of S&T grad Steve Sullivan, winner of three Academy Awards.
Cindy Tang: closing the gender gap
Cindy Tang, Econ'85, was a champion for women when the university really needed one. And she still is.
John Toomey: better together
Like nuts and bolts, some things are just meant to go together. Although his background is in mechanical engineering, John Toomey, ME'49, MS ME'51, believes his field goes hand-in-hand with aerospace engineering.
Ed Tuck: taking chances
Ed Tuck likes to quote the jazz pianist Thelonius Monk, who said: "The only cats worth anything are the cats who take chances."
Ted Weise: absolutely positively
Ted Weise, EE'67, was hired as Federal Express's 23rd employee in 1972. He retired in 2000 as president and CEO of the global corporation.
Gary White: water warrior
In 1984, Gary White traveled to Guatemala with an organization that he had established for students who wanted to volunteer for development projects around the world. "I can still clearly see the little girl who brought the water and sanitation crisis into striking focus for me," says White, CE '85, MS CE '87.
Joan Woodard: going nuclear
At Sandia National Laboratories, Joan Woodard, Math'73, was the executive vice president and deputy laboratories director for more than 10 years.