Colorado State University Honors Distinguished Alumni April 26

Note to Editors: Reporters are welcome to attend the 2002 Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony. The event begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m. April 26 at the Marriott Hotel, 350 E. Horsetooth Road in Fort Collins. Awards will be given at about 7:15 p.m. following dinner. To arrange interviews or receive photos of the honorees, call June Greist at (970) 491-6432.

Outstanding graduates and friends of Colorado State University who have made an impact on the university and the wider community will be honored at the Alumni Association’s annual Distinguished Alumni Award program on April 26.

Eighteen honorees include a former "top gun" pilot and current NASA space shuttle commander, successful entrepreneurs, business men and women and outstanding representatives from each college.

Following is a list of honorees.

William E. Morgan Alumni Achievement Award

The Alumni Association’s highest honor, the William E. Morgan Alumni Achievement Award, goes to NASA Capt. Kent Rominger, a former "top gun" pilot and current space shuttle commander. The award recognizes his exceptional support and commitment to the university, the Fort Collins community and the nation.

Rominger graduated with honors from Colorado State in 1978 with a bachelor’s in civil engineering. As a Navy pilot, he logged more than 5,000 flying hours in more than 35 types of aircraft and completed 685 carrier landings. At NASA, he has flown on five space missions, twice serving as shuttle commander and three times as pilot. He has remained a spokesperson for the College of Engineering and the university, where he has inspired undergraduate students and faculty by sharing his educational and professional experiences as keynote speaker at campus events such as Engineering Exploration Day and commencement ceremonies. (full release)

Charles A. Lory Public Service Award

This year’s Charles A. Lory Public Service Award goes to Beryl "Brownie" McGraw, a tireless advocate for children in need, a concerned community leader, a strong supporter of higher education and a thoughtful philanthropist.

She began her education at Colorado A&M in the late 1940s, where she met and later married Fum McGraw, a notable athlete and athletic director at the university. In 1965, Brownie began her career in education, which included service at Wellington Junior High, Blevins Junior High and Rocky Mountain High, first as dean of girls then as principal for 11 years. She retired from education as principal of Lincoln Junior High School.

She is best known for her empathy and understanding of young people, especially those who were having difficulty or who needed a helping hand. McGraw Elementary School was named in honor of her 31 years of accomplishments in the Poudre School District. (full release)

Jim and Nadine Henry Award

Ren Jensen, vice president of Valley Steel and Wire Co. and lifelong Ram fan and supporter of the university’s academic and alumni programs, is recipient of the Jim and Nadine Henry Award.

Jensen, who is known for his service in every possible leadership position in alumni relations, athletics and academics, earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1959 from the university.

As a Colorado State supporter, Jensen spearheaded the committee that created the 1870 Club and, for 10 years, he was the steering committee chairman for the club. He currently serves as one of five steering committee members for the new 1870 Club Initiative, an effort aimed at increasing the member numbers. (full release)

Traditions Award

The National Western Stock Show, Rodeo and Horse Show will receive the Traditions Award, presented for the first time by the Alumni Association, in recognition of its longstanding relationship to the university.

For much of its 96-year history, the National Western has supported young people in their pursuit of agriculture and livestock-related studies at Colorado and Wyoming universities.

The NWSS provides scholarships to help 24 Colorado State University students complete their undergraduate and graduate programs in the College of Agricultural Sciences. Each year, some of the proceeds from the National Western Stock Show’s art show and junior livestock sale fund the scholarships. The scholarships are renewed if the students perform well academically. Total, cumulative individual awards range from $1,000 to $4,500. The scholarships include 20 National Western Stock Show scholarships; two scholarships named for Jim Henry, a long-time supporter of the NWSS and Colorado State; two scholarships funding graduate students involved in the university’s Integrated Resource Management program; and two scholarships funding graduate students in the beef industry program.

The 4-H program, a branch of Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, also benefits from involvement with the NWSS. The NWSS gives 4-H participants an opportunity to exhibit their projects in a professional show. Participation in the NWSS also qualifies 4-H participants to apply for college scholarships. (full release)

Albert C. Yates Student Leadership Award

Amy Steig, a graduate student in health and exercise science, will receive the Albert C. Yates Student Leadership Award for her outstanding volunteer service, dedication, work ethic, enthusiasm and leadership in the university and Fort Collins communities.

Steig is a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She also is a McNair Scholar of the Sciences and recipient of Colorado State’s Association Scholarship in honor of Amy Hickey, in addition to the Outstanding Senior award from the College of Applied Human Sciences. Steig volunteered for the Heart Disease Prevention Program in the Human Performance Clinical/Research Lab, among other volunteer activities. (full release)

Distinguished Athletic Award

Bob and Doris Reynolds, a prominent family from the local business community, will be honored with the Distinguished Athletic Award for three decades of visionary support to Colorado State and the Fort Collins communities.

Longtime supporters of Colorado State’s Athletic Department, the Reynolds have given generously to athletic programs and scholarship funds and were also leaders in developing long-term assistance and development opportunities for the university and its student athletes.

The Reynolds moved to Fort Collins in 1972 and opened Reynolds Oldsmobile Cadillac, a fixture of the city’s business community until their retirement in 1996. (full release)

Distinguished Cooperative Extension Award

Bob Sakata of Brighton is recipient of the Distinguished Cooperative Extension Award for contributions to the university and Cooperative Extension. Sakata, who owns a vegetable farming business near Brighton, is known throughout the world as an innovative leader in the produce industry and for introducing crops and concepts to Colorado vegetable producers.

His involvement at the university includes serving as a member of the Colorado State Cooperative Extension advisory board for Adams County and representing Cooperative Extension on a number of statewide focus committees. He also is a former associate provost’s advisory committee member and has served in an advisory capacity for all of the College of Agricultural Sciences deans during the past 20 years. (full release)

Distinguished Faculty Award

Bob Richburg, a University Distinguished Teaching Scholar and professor in the School of Education, is this year’s winner of the Distinguished Faculty Award.

Richburg, who has been with the School of Education for more than 25 years and who recently won the State Board of Agriculture Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching award, is known throughout the state of Colorado as an exemplary teacher. He has positively influenced hundreds of teachers through his research and scholarship in teaching and teacher preparation. His innovations in the classroom include the development of a nationally recognized program called Project Promise, an intensive, 10-½ month program that teaches mid-career professionals how to be effective teachers.(full release)

GOLD – Distinguished Graduate of the Last Decade

Jeff Christmann, operations manager for GE Johnson Construction Co. and a 1991 graduate in the Construction Management Program, is recipient of the GOLD award this year. Christmann, who began working for GE Johnson as a project engineer upon graduation, advanced quickly in his career and now is operations manager with responsibilities that cover half the $200 million portfolio of the company.

In addition to contributing significant time and energy in support of the university, which includes presenting training workshops, hosting dinners with students and supporting senior recruiting efforts, Christmann is active in industry organizations, community groups and his church.(full release)

Honorary Alumnus Award

The university’s official historian, Professor James E Hansen II, will be honored with an Honorary Alumnus Award in recognition for his dedication and commitment to Colorado State.

Hansen received his bachelor’s from Middlebury College and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Denver. He came to Colorado State in 1966 as a history instructor and will retire this year. With his colleague Liston Leyendecker, Hansen established a highly respected public history master’s degree program, the success of which is measured in a near perfect professional placement rate for its graduates. He has been described by students as keen-witted and approachable.

As Colorado State’s historian, Hansen established the University Archives and the Colorado Agricultural Archives. He authored or assisted with more than half a dozen publications about Colorado State, including his comprehensive history of the university, "Democracy’s College in the Centennial State." He is currently completing an updated edition to this book, which will chronicle the university’s history since the 1970s.(full release)

College Honor Alumnus/Alumna Awards

  • College of Agricultural Sciences – Darris Cumming, owner of Cumming Realty and Cumming Cattle Company. A 1959 graduate of Colorado State, he has served on various agricultural-related organizations and has actively recruited potential students for the university. He continues to carry his dedication to the student experience at Colorado State through his involvement with three scholarship committees. (full release)
  • College of Applied Human Sciences – Logan Chamberlain, president and chief executive officer of RealHealth Media; president and CEO of Herb Companion Press; executive vice president of Interweave Press; and publisher of magazines including The Herb Companion and Herbs for Health. Chamberlain, who earned his doctorate in human resource development in 1994, remains active on campus as faculty affiliate in the School of Education, adviser to the College of Applied Human Sciences and member of the advisory board for the Exercise and Physiology Program. (full release)
  • College of Business – Victoria Quintana, owner of Excel Professional Services, the third-largest minority-owned business in the Denver area. She earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting in 1983. In addition to national awards given to her business, Excel Professional Services was ranked in the top 400 women-owned businesses by Working Woman Magazine and top 200 largest Hispanic-owned companies in the country by Hispanic Business Magazine. Quintana also is deeply involved in community activities. (full release)
  • College of Engineering – David McWhorter, professor emeritus and world-renowned expert in contaminant transport through soil and groundwater. After completing his master’s degree in civil engineering at Colorado State in 1966 and his doctoral in agricultural engineering from the university in 1971, McWhorter joined the engineering department and became full professor in 1979. In 1999, he retired from full-time teaching and research and devoted more time to consulting activities with industrial firms and government agencies. (full release)
  • College of Liberal Arts – Roy Toma, president of Toma & Associates, with clients including major American and Japanese museums, galleries and other institutions. A native of Hawaii, Toma grew up in Colorado and graduated with a bachelor’s in graphic communications from Colorado State, where he also majored in education and business. He is known for his role in building the university’s ties and strong presence at the Denver Art Museum and for his devotion and support of the Colorado International Invitational Poster Exhibition program. (full release)
  • College of Natural Resources – Richard Curnow, director at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal Plant and Health Inspection Services and the National Wildlife Research Center. Curnow received his doctorate degree in wildlife and radiation biology from Colorado State in 1970. Under his leadership, the USDA’s new National Wildlife Research Center recently was opened on the Colorado State campus, a facility that provides scientific information on wildlife, its habitat and its relationship to agriculture and public safety.(full release)
  • College of Natural Sciences – Vicky Farrow, independent consultant specializing in leadership development. She received her bachelor’s in psychology from Colorado State in 1972 and her master’s in human development from the university in 1975. In addition to her consulting business, she is a board member of several industry and non-profit organizations including the Center for Excellence in Non-Profits, the Career Action Center and the Professional Business Women of California. (full release)
  • College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences – Claude Nash, chairman and founder of ViroPharma, a leading American pharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of antiviral medicines for the treatment of viral diseases. Nash, who earned his master’s and doctorate in microbiology from Colorado State in 1966 and 1969, respectively, and has had a long career in pharmaceutical research and development at Schering Plough Research Institute, Sterling Drug, SmithKline Beecham and Eli Lilly. (full release)