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SDSM& T News
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 15, 1999
FIVE ALUMNI HONORED DURING SDSM& T’S 140TH COMMENCEMENT
Five alumni will be honored as recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award during the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology’s ( SDSM& T) 140th commencement held Saturday, December 18, 1999. Approximately 75 South Dakota Tech undergraduate and graduate students are candidates for degrees during the university’s winter commencement ceremony held in the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Theater.
This year’s recipients are Frank F. Aplan ( MetE ’ 48), James V. Chittick ( ChemE ’ 63), William L. Reuter ( EE ’ 56 , MS EE ’ 58), Peter N. Stephans ( EE ’ 68, MS EE ’ 69), and Gary R. Veurink ( ChemE ’ 72). Nominees were evaluated based on four categories – level of professional achievement, evidence of significant and creative professional activity, involvement in professional or business organizations, and balance of community and professional service and awards.
Frank Aplan is originally from Fort Pierre, SD. After working ten years for Union Carbide Corporation’s Mining and Metals Division, he joined the faculty of Pennsylvania State University in 1968. He retired in 1992 as Distinguished Professor of Metallurgy and Mineral Processing. The Frank F. Aplan award was established by the Engineering Foundation in 1989 to annually recognize a scientist or engineer who has excelled in his or her field. Aplan’s other SDSM& T awards include the Centennial 100 Alumni Award in 1985, the Guy E. March Silver Medal in 1996, and he is currently a National Leader in the Tech Foundation’s capital campaign.
James Chittick is a native of Aberdeen, SD. He began his career with Dow Corning after graduating from SDSM& T. He has excelled at every position he has held from various management positions in manufacturing, to Materials Flow manager in Europe, to his current position as Corporate Vice President. Chittick is a member of the Chemical Manufacturer’s Association, and is very active in community affairs including serving on the United Way board of Directors, member of the Midland Area Community Quality Council, and a Vision 2000 National Leader for the SDSM& T Foundation’s capital campaign.
William Reuter, a native of Hartford, SD, has been a familiar face on the Tech campus ever since his graduation in 1956. He has held positions as Instructor, Assistant Professor, and Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering from 1956 to 1972. He later worked at Dunham Associates, Inc. and was employed with Pete Lien & Sons, where he retired as Vice President of Operations. Reuter has been active in business development, including being a co- founder of several local companies – Sym Com, Rapidata, and Re/ Spec. He was the Chairman of the 1980 Tech Alumni Reunion and is currently the Vision 2000 National Co- Chair for the SDSM& T Foundation’s capital campaign.
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- Page 2 - Peter Stephans, originally from Budapest, Hungary, served IBM Corporation for eight years upon graduating for Tech, and later joined Dynamet Inc., a manufacturer of titanium and special alloy products for the aerospace and medical implant industries. He quickly advanced up the corporate ladder being named President in October 1987. After Dynamet was acquired by Carpenter Technology Corporation in 1997, Stephans bought a division of Dynamet from Carpenter, now named Trigon Inc., and heads up the newly formed company. He is currently a Vision 2000 National Co- Chair for the SDSM& T Foundation’s capital campaign.
Gary Veurink is a native of Harrison, SD. He has had a successful career with Dow Chemical ever since he graduated from Tech in 1972. He has held positions from superintendent of Production Services in Bay City, technical manager of the Environmental Control group in Michigan Division, Global Manufacturing Director for Engineering Plastics, to his current position as Vice President, Global Purchasing. Though his career has taken him to Michigan, Ohio, and Texas, Veurink has remained an ardent supporter of SDSM& T and is personally responsible for good relations between the Dow Chemical Company and the university. In addition, in 1995 he led the creation of the SDSM& T Academic Advisory Council, serving as Chairman for the first three years, and currently continues on the council as an active member. He is a Vision 2000 National Co- Chair for the SDSM& T Foundation’s capital campaign.
The commencement address will be presented by Dr. Theodore Gull, Astrophysicist at the NASA Laboratory for Astronomy and Solar Physics at Goddard Space Flight Center. An Honorary Doctorate of Science degree will be conferred on Dr. Gull during the ceremony.
Fernando Rodrigues of Box Elder will deliver the senior class message. Rodrigues is a candidate for a degree in mining engineering. Regent Dr. James Hansen will present the message from the South Dakota Board of Regents.
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