Ten graduates of Missouri University of Science and Technology were honored as Missouri S&T’s 2016 Alumni of Influence during a special event Saturday, Nov. 5, at Hasselmann Alumni House on the Missouri S&T campus.
This is the second time Missouri S&T has honored a group of graduates as influential alumni. The inaugural celebration was held in 2011. For the 2016 celebration, a committee made up of 2011 honorees reviewed nominations and made recommendations to select the 10 2016 honorees.
The 2016 Alumni of Influence are:
- Joe Ballard of Davidsonville, Maryland, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general, former commander of the Army Corps of Engineers and CEO of the Ravens Group Inc. Ballard earned a master of science degree in engineering management from Missouri S&T in 1972.
- Bob Brackbill of Dallas, an oil industry leader recognized for his contributions to offshore exploration, in particular the discovery of gas reserves in Thailand. Brackbill earned a bachelor of science degree in mining engineering from Missouri S&T in 1942.
- Bob Brinkmann of Chesterfield, Missouri, founder and CEO of Brinkmann Constructors, which has grown from its St. Louis base to a project portfolio in 30 states. Brinkmann earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Missouri S&T in 1971.
- Matt Coco of Affton, Missouri, retired vice president of Alberici Corp.’s building division. A former president of the Miner Alumni Association, Coco has volunteered as a project manager on the Hasselmann Alumni House and his fraternity, Phi Kappa Theta. Coco earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering in 1966.
- Roger Dorf of Dallas, retired general manager and vice president of the Broadband Wireless Group for Cisco Systems. During his career, Dorf helped bring wireless networking to countries from Honduras to Mauritius. Dorf earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1965.
- Bipin Doshi of Mishawaka, Indiana, president and CEO of Schafer Industries, a company he purchased in 1988 following a career with Uniroyal. Doshi earned bachelor of science and master of science degrees in chemical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1962 and 1963, respectively.
- Don Gunther of Naples, Florida, retired vice chair and director of the Bechtel Group. Since his retirement, Gunther has helped to raise millions of dollars for services and scholarships to support at-risk children and youth. Gunther earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Missouri S&T in 1960.
- Sandra Magnus of Reston, Virginia, executive director of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a former NASA astronaut. A veteran of three space missions, including a four-month stint on the International Space Station and the final NASA space shuttle missions, Magnus earned a bachelor of science degree in physics in 1986 and a master of science degree in electrical engineering in 1990, both from Missouri S&T.
- Dick Vitek of Clermont, Florida, founder and retired CEO of Fotodyne Inc. and inventor of ultraviolet imaging instruments for pinpointing illegal oil dumping. Vitek earned a master of science degree in chemistry from Missouri S&T in 1958.
- Roy Wilkens of Tulsa, retired CEO of WilTel and McLeodUSA and chair and co-founder of Adaption Technologies. At WilTel, Wilkins repurposed thousands of miles of decommissioned oil and gas pipelines into a national fiber optic network. Wilkens earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1966.
Col. Tom Akers of Eminence, Missouri, a retired NASA astronaut and former instructor of mathematics at Missouri S&T, served as master of ceremonies for the event. Akers earned bachelor of science and master of science degrees in mathematics from Missouri S&T in 1973 and 1975, respectively, and is a member of the inaugural 2011 Alumni of Influence class.
More information about the 2016 Alumni of Influence, including photos from the event, is available at influence.mst.edu.