Colorado State University alumni Burtis, Sweeney to be honored at 50 Year Club event

Carl A. Burtis Jr. and Robert F. Sweeney will receive the 78th “50 Year Club” Outstanding Recognition Awards as part of Colorado State University’s annual Homecoming celebration.

Burtis (BS Animal Science ’59) and Sweeney (BS Social Science ’59) will be recognized at the annual “50 Year Club” Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Friday at the Hilton Fort Collins.

Burtis, who earned master’s and doctoral degrees from Purdue University, will receive the Career Achievement Award. He is an internationally recognized author, editor, and speaker having authored or co-authored more than 125 peer-reviewed publications while securing eight patents. Purdue bestowed an Honorary Doctorate of Science degree on him in 2004.

He has also served as senior editor for 11 books including the Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostic and Tietz Fundamentals of Clinical Chemistry, which are considered by many as the definitive reference and teaching books for clinical chemistry and molecular diagnostics.

Burtis has served in leadership roles for many professional organizations including the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry, Clinical Laboratory and Standards Institute, and the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine.

A 40-year staff member of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Burtis and his team developed the centrifugal fast analyzer that has placed more than 10,000 instruments in clinical laboratories worldwide.

Sweeney, who publishes several Colorado newspapers, including the Denver Herald-Dispatch, the Villager, the Colorado Gambler, the Palisade Tribune and the Fruita Times, will receive the Public Service Award.

He is an active Denver Lions Club board member, and serves as president of the Kenneth King Foundation, which has granted more than $27 million to help improve communities across the state. He and his wife Gerri were awarded Arapahoe House’s 2003 Pillars of the Community Award, designated for outstanding service to the organization, which is the largest provider of drug and alcohol prevention and treatment services in Colorado.

Sweeney received the National Newspaper Association’s highest honor – the James O. Amos Award – in 2009. The James O. Amos Award is presented to a working or retired newspaperman who has provided distinguished service and leadership to the community press and its community.