December 13, 2000
The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology will present five Distinguished Alumni Awards during the 142nd Commencement scheduled for 10 a. m. Saturday, Dec. 16, at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
The awards go to:
- William E. Tucker, who earned a bachelor’s degree in geology in 1956. After graduating from Pierre High School and Tech, Tucker served as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers. He earned a degree at the Oklahoma University Law School and became Assistant Attorney General for the State of Colorado. In 1974, he argued and won a precedent- setting air pollution case before the U. S. Supreme Court. He was a member of White House Counsel’s Office and is Chairman of Tucker and Associates, a consulting and strategic planning firm in Washington, DC.
Bill has also distinguished himself in numerous political arenas both in the United States and abroad. His outstanding service includes membership on the Observation Team from the United States to elections in West Germany ( 1969), Philippines ( 1986), Korea ( 1987), Taiwan ( 1988); and co- chairing a delegation to observe the presidential election in Azerbaijan in October 1998. He was an official participant at the invitation of Slovak President Kovac to the 50th anniversary celebration of the Slovak uprising against the Nazis in the Slovak Republic.
In August 2000, Bill was honored with the Hungarian Presidential Gold Medal and Presidential Citation for various contributions to the Republic of Hungary during its transition from communism and a centrally planned economy to a democracy and a market economy.
Bill served as Co- Chairman of the Transatlantic Forum Conference on NATO Enlargement in Budapest ( 1997).
Bill currently is the co- chairman of the International Relations Committee of the U. S. Olympic Committee and Chairman of the Board of the International Liaison Committee of People to People International, an organization founded by President Dwight Eisenhower.
- Dean M. Peterson, who earned a bachelor’s degree in general engineering in 1954.
Originally from Aberdeen, Dean’s career has taken him from coast to coast and beyond. After graduating from Tech, Dean was drafted into the Army and served during the Korean War. Following his discharge, Dean focused his sights on engineering and went on to earn more than 75 patents in the mechanical, optical, electronic and process fields.
His diverse employment history includes companies such as Eastman Kodak, Honeywell, Fisher Price Toys, Nimslo Corporation, American Optical Company, Signet Armorlite, Pacific Innovations and currently HPS Medical Incorporated where he is a partner and Vice President of Engineering. Dean’s patents include the first camera employing a fully automatic exposure system, the original Instamatic camera, the first successful automatic focus camera and the Fast Frame video system for motion analysis.
- Aelred J. Kurtenbach, who earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1961.
Aelred, from Parkston, S. D., taught electrical engineering at South Dakota State University from 1962 until 1965 and again from 1968 to 1973. In 1968, he co- founded Daktronics, Inc. and has served as director, chairman and CEO of the company since then.
Kurtenbach holds numerous patents including one for three- sided wrestling scoreboards.
Nancy Ward Dunham, who earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1957.
Originally from Wessington Springs, Dunham, along with her husband George, co- founded Dunham Associates, Inc. in Rapid City in 1960. During her association with Dunham Associates, in addition to being “ Mother Dunham” to hundreds of employees, she has been Director of Electrical Engineering and served on the Board of Directors and as Board Secretary. She is also a co- founder of SymCom, Inc. and Rapidata, Inc.
- George F. Dunham, who earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1956. George, of Sioux Falls, taught mechanical engineering at Tech until 1957. In 1960, George and his wife Nancy founded Dunham Associates, Inc. in Rapid City. Subsequently, he co- founded SymCom, Rapidata and Meditrol. He has been President and Chairman of the Board of all of these companies.
George has designed mechanical systems for more than 2,000 building projects throughout the United States. His major projects in the local area include the Rapid City Regional Hospital, state and federal buildings, numerous schools and community centers. Dunham introduced thermal displacement ventilation systems in Washington, D. C., Chicago, Rockville, Md., JFK International Airport and the Rush Limbaugh Media Center and Library.
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Devereaux Library. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.