Vol. 35, No. 2, Winter 1998

Burdell and Friends

Ramblin Roll


Luther Z. Drennon, GS ’37, of Atlanta, married Margaret Patterson on Aug. 12. Mr. Drennon is a retired broker with Drennon Realty.


J. Hardwick Butler, CE ’57, MS CE ’63, of Macon, Ga., was selected as the 1997-98 Engineer of the Year in Education by the Georgia Society of Professional Engineers at their summer meeting in June. Butler is currently head of the engineering department at Middle Georgia College in Cochran, Ga.


Thomas W. Brown, EE ’58, retired in March as primary examiner with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Brown and his wife, Peggy, live in Springfield, Va.

George A. Jackins, IE ’58, was installed as president of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) at its annual meeting in Toronto, and his picture is featured on the cover of the August 1998 edition of the ASHRAE Journal. Jackins is a principal with Engineering Research Group Inc. He lives in Birmingham, Ala., with his wife, Donna Leigh.

Thomas J. Rabern, IM ’58, retired in July from American General and Associates Insurance Co. He and his wife, Ann, live in Jacksonville, Fla.


Eduardo Schonborn, EE ’62, retired in June after 33 years of service with the Department of Defense. He lives in Madison, Ga., with his wife, Mary.


John Baumgartner, IE ’65, has been named vice president and chief information officer for Oxford Industries Inc. Baumgartner lives in Decatur, Ga., with his wife, Pam, and sons, Chip and Chris.


Kenneth M. Beam, IM ’68, was named president and chief executive officer of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators. Beam lives in Chevy Chase, Md., with his wife, Elizabeth.

Political Science

A Georgia Tech degree provided the right chemistry for James Paul’s Congressional career

When the Mars Pathfinder and its Sojourner rover began transmitting pictures from the surface of the Red Planet back to Earth in 1997, James H. Paul was among the select company of scientists and officials to first view the spectacular images.

It was not a unique experience for Paul, Chem ’82, who was there as a government watchdog. He also had been present at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab when the first images were transmitted from Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

“Nothing has been more fun to me than being there at that particular moment,” said Paul, who realized when he graduated from Georgia Tech that any ambition of becoming a NASA astronaut was less than likely. So he chose a different course into space science: Congress.

Paul is a staff member on the House of Representatives’ Committee on Science, which drafts legislation for much of the scientific research and development conducted by federal agencies, including NASA. As a member of the oversight subcommittee, one of his responsibilities is to visit federal facilities and verify that congressional research objectives were being satisfied.

Paul says his chemistry degree was his ticket to the science committee, but social science courses he took at Tech about international relations and the role of Congress dictated his career.

Paul graduated from Tech determined to get a job in Congress.

“I walked in and told them I would work for nothing until they saw I could do the job,” Paul said. He began as an unpaid congressional intern on the space subcommittee. A month later, he was on the payroll.

“About the same time I walked in the door, they were bringing in their first computer system,” Paul said. “Nobody in the office wanted to touch it. I was more than willing to play with it. I think that’s what got me an actual salary.”

A member of the staff of Rep. George E. Brown Jr., D-Calif., ranking Democrat on the House Science Committee, Paul’s interest in computers has kept up with technology. He now maintains the Web site for Democratic members of the science committee:

During the past 15 years, Paul has worked for five subcommittee chairmen and four committee chairmen.

“One of the things you need to succeed up here is the ability to learn very quickly about some very esoteric topics,” Paul said. “Once you understand warranties and federal contracting, there are not too many more difficult topics that you’re going to run across.”

Although hardly working in his major, his chemistry degree is yielding dividends.

“A lot of things that I’ve worked on really haven’t had a chemistry component, but the fact that I understand how the scientific community does its business is important. That, and having learned the language, is probably the most critical thing about my job.

“I’ve got to translate science into politics for the committee members, and I have to translate politics into science for the scientists. Those two spheres represent very different ways of communicating,” Paul said. “When you’re trying to explain high-energy physics to a committee member, it is one thing. But when you’re trying to explain bringing up a point of order on an appropriations bill to scientists who are trying to figure out why they are having problems with funding for their project—that can be just as difficult.

“This is not your normal R&D job.” GT

When Johnny Comes Marching Home...

Randy Cabell preserves 1850 brass bands, music of Civil War

Randy Cabell’s fascination with the Civil War era has little to do with the war. His soul is stirred by the music, instruments and brass bands of both the Blue and Gray.

“I’ve never been a Civil War buff—war is so terrible—but I thought the music was just terrific,” said Cabell, who lives near the sites of many Civil War battles in Clarke, Va.

In the nine years since he retired from IBM, Cabell, EE ’53, MSEE ’54, has helped start several brass bands around the country; they are modeled after those popular in the 19th century. And he has arranged historically accurate music for them. Most recently, he and his cousin, Cabell Brand, established a fund at Virginia Military Institute for The Virginia Brass Band Institute, designed to preserve and share the 19th-century brass band music of Virginia.

Central to the Virginia Brass Band Institute will be the formation of an 1850-style brass band that will feature historically accurate, over-the-shoulder horns called saxhorns—grandfathers to today’s cornets, baritones and tubas, all of which have three valves like the saxhorns. Since it will take about four years to make the six to eight instruments needed, the band is expected to start in 2002.

Brass bands were common in both the North and South during the Civil War. These musicians often carried stretchers during battle, but returned to their instruments—providing spirited marching music for the troops, or comfort and entertainment in the camps at night.

Cabell has a personal link to the agony of that war: He has a letter written by his great-grandmother—who went from bride to widow in just four months during 1865. The letter describes how her 23-year-old husband suffered an excruciating month from a bullet wound in his lung. His surgeon brother could not save him; he died before his daughter, Cabell’s grandmother, was born that fall.

After the war, the musicians took their music back home.

“The Civil War did to brass-band music much of what World War II did to radar. They were both pushed ahead,” Cabell said. “During the Civil War, there were so many musicians in both the North and South that both armies had to cut back on bands to get more people shooting than tooting.”

“The 1870-1910 era of town bands was a wonderful time for small towns,” Cabell continued. “Without television, movies, pro football, etc., the band provided a focus for the people. There was always a bandstand. The bands brought transcriptions of classical music to main-street America.”

Because the instruments were different in the previous century, Cabell also rearranges music he obtains from the Library of Congress or universities for modern instruments.

He’s finished two series: The Brass Band Journal for the Rest of Us (1854 music) and Patriotic Songs and Airs of the Confederate States of America (brass band music). He’s committed to three others: The Lord’s Army Band (old Hymns for brass quartets); The Martial Music of Camp Dupont (music for transitional bands of the 1830s, moving from woodwinds to brass); and Pawnee Bill’s 1900 Band Book (circus music).

Cabell also collects antique instruments: tubas from 1870, 1908 and 1912; a 1912 cornet that someone had turned into a lampstand (with some soldering and pampering, it played again).

Music has always played a vital role in Cabell’s life. He began playing the saxophone at age 5. At age 16, he learned to play a tuba he found in the band room at Greenbrier Military Institute. At Georgia Tech, he played in the marching band, a dance band and the Fowler Street Five.

Even as IBM moved him around the country—Atlanta; Cape Canaveral, Fla.; Washington, D.C.; Cabell continued to play with various amateur and semi-professional groups and other employees.

“At IBM, in my group was a fellow who played banjo professionally. There were always another couple of musicians around, so we livened up IBM meetings with picking and singing,” he recalled.

Cabell, who helped recreate the 26th North Carolina Regimental Band in Salem, N.C., and the Band of the Shenandoah at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Va., has found many groups who share his interest.

Some bands play in Civil War re-enactments, although they’re not as common as fife-and-drum corps. Others like the Utah Centennial Brass Band, which is composed of musicians from Brigham Young University and the University of Utah, the California Goldrush Band, the Jack Daniels Silver Cornet Band, the Canadian Brass have a larger interest than just the Civil War period, and gather each year at Centre College in Kentucky for the Brass Band Festival.

Cabell is glad to help preserve the distinctive music of a bygone era. GT

Donald G. McDermott, ME ’68, retired as a Navy captain. He recently was granted a senior reactor operators license by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and is working with Commonwealth Edison Co. as an executive at one of their nuclear plants. McDermott and his wife, Judith, live in Rockford, Ill.

John R. Self, AE ’68, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., was elected president of the South Florida Chapter of the National Safety Council. Self is a personal-lines manager with Hilb, Rogal and Hamilton.


M.L. “Mel” Hughes II, AE ’70, MS AE ’71, was appointed president of Tactical Defense Systems, a Lockheed Martin company. Hughes lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., with his wife, Marcia, and son, Lynn.


Matthew A. Stevens, ChE ’71, was named director of fulfill- demand processes, business process improvement, for Eastman Chemical Co. Stevens lives in Kingsport, Tenn., with his wife, Carol.

Curtis J. Tompkins, PhD IE ’71, president of Michigan Technological University, was honored with the Frank and Lillian Gilbreth Industrial Engineering Award on May 11 at the Industrial Engineering 1998 Solutions Conference in Banff, Alberta, Canada. Tompkins lives in Houghton, Mich.


Randall P. Bass, CE ’72, MS CE ’77, was selected the 1997-98 Engineer of the Year in Construction by the Georgia Society of Professional Engineers at their annual meeting on June 13. Bass is program manager for water resource projects with the Portland Cement Association. He lives in Lilburn, Ga., with his wife, Anna Marie.

Michael L. Fulbright, TE ’72, president and chief executive officer of the Bibb Co., was featured in the Atlanta Business Chronicle.


James M. Austell, ME ’73, joined Enron Europe Limited as vice president of asset development. Austell lives in Ascot, England, with his wife, Lucy, and children, Michael and Caroline.

Bobby D. Dasher, CE ’73, was commissioned as a naval officer after completing officer candidate school at Naval Aviation Schools Command in Pensacola, Fla.

Thomas Latimer, ChE ’73, of Paducah, Ky., was recently promoted to senior plant manager with Air Products and Chemicals.


Terry W. Warren, IM ’74, of Nashville, Tenn., was named vice president of strategic planning and implementation for Willis Corroon Americas.


Linda C. Byus, MS ANS ’75, participated in a roundtable forum discussing electric utilities in The Wall Street Transcript, a weekly magazine. Byus is vice president of Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, and head of United States Utility Research. She lives in Arlington Heights, Ill., with her husband, Bruce, and children, Maggie and Timothy.

Philip J. Smith, IM ’75, of Stone Mountain, Ga., has accepted a position as senior associate in the Atlanta office of the law firm Webb, Stuckey and Lindsey.


Herchell Allen Boyd, AE ’76, MS EE ’88, retired as a colonel with the Army Intelligence Center in Ft. Huachuca, Ariz. He is senior program manager for international programs with ITT Aerospace/Defense Communications in Fort Wayne, Ind.

George F. McMahon, CE ’76, of Atlanta, was promoted to principal engineer with Camp Dresser and McKee Inc.

Robert C. Moeller, ChE ’76, joined Andersen Consulting as a partner, heading the organization and change strategy practice for the Americas. Moeller and his wife, Carol, live in San Francisco.


Roger Bisher, Mgt ’77, received the 1998 Cobb County Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Award on behalf of his company, Prime Power.


John Tramontanis, IM ’78, was promoted to controller with Cox Broadcasting Inc. Tramontanis lives in Roswell, Ga.


Jeff M. Bargerhuff, IM ’79, of Henderson, Nev., was named senior vice president and marketing director for Pioneer Citizens Bank.

Robert M. Gemmell, EE ’79, MS EE ’80, wrote a guest editorial in the Aug. 15 edition of Applied Microwave and Wireless magazine. Gemmell, who lives in Atlanta, is chief executive officer and chairman of Digital Wireless Corp.


Luis A. Mederos, ME ’80, was appointed special assistant to the director of the NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif.


David F. Conner, EE ’81, joined The North Highland Co. as principal consultant. Conner lives in Duluth, Ga., with his wife, Julie, and children, Kimberly, Andrew and Daniel.

Aggelos K. Katsaggelos, MS EE ’81, PhD ’85, of Evanston, Ill., editor in chief of IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, was listed as a 1998 Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineering Fellow in July.

Tim A. Malac, EE ’81, and his wife, Theresa, announced the birth of a son, Matthew David, on May 12. The family lives in Indian Harbour Beach, Fla., where Tim works for the aerospace division of Harris Corp.

George C. Shields, Chem ’81, MS Chem ’83, PhD ’86, a professor of chemistry at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., was one of seven professors to receive a tenure-track appointment for the 1998-99 academic year. Shields is a former chair of chemistry at Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Ill.


Rod Arroyo, M CP ’82, vice president of Birchler Arroyo Associates Inc., was awarded the 1998 Outstanding Planning Project Award by the Michigan Society of Planning Officials.

John P. Darnall, CE ’82, and his wife, Teri, announced the birth of a son, John Palmer, on July 30. The family lives in Birmingham, Ala., where John is employed by Brasfield and Gorrie.

Ricardo Armando Novoa-Lopez, ISyE ’82, of Arlington, Texas, accepted a new position at Daisytek in July.

Debra Traylor Miller, ChE ’82, and her husband, Ken, announced the birth of a daughter, Marie Georgina, on June 15. Marie joins her brother, Huntington, at the family home in Elk River, Minn., where Debbie is an engineering supervisor for Boston Scientific-SciMed.

Michael Palmer, IE ’82, married Sherrise Shaw on June 13. The couple lives in Austin, Texas, where Michael is worldwide process-technology manager for Dell Computer Corp.

Sally McRobert Wise, ME ’82, and her husband, Tim, announced the birth of a daughter, Mary Helen, on July 13. The family lives in Leonardtown, Md.

Oldest Alumnus

Even with hearing loss and with poor eyesight, at age 100 Dan Scharff is “pretty sharp”

Anything that concerns Georgia Tech concerns me, says Daniel L. Scharff of New Orleans—who at 100 years of age has been interested in Georgia Tech’s affairs longer than any other living alumnus.

Scharff, CE ’19, was born March 29, 1898, in Natchez, Miss. Although he is now hard of hearing and and has poor eyesight, until two years ago he continued to manage his affairs: writing out checks, paying the bills and balancing the books.

He finally abandoned his bookkeeping duties at age 98, but it’s still his favorite hobby, said Phyllis Stern, his only daughter. “He’s pretty sharp.”

Stern said her father is a loyal Yellow Jacket fan. And he fondly recalls his student days at Tech.

“I have always been grateful for the encouragement that I received on the part of the faculty—and for the entire atmosphere that prevailed at Tech,” Scharff said.

“I wasn’t from the state of Georgia, but I was accepted as if I was. I found out that Georgia Tech accepted all of its students on an equal basis, and gave each the same opportunity to excel—and the incentive to do so. Each student was encouraged to develop his own personality and his own aims and aspirations, according to the energy he saw fit to apply.”

Scharff entered Tech in 1915, two years before America entered World War I, and graduated in 1919, after the armistice ended the war.

He worked as an engineer in both North and South Carolina, and then Richmond, Va., where he met his wife, before moving to New Orleans as a city engineer.

Scharff was hired as New Orleans began a major downtown renovation project. “They were going to re-pave Canal Street, our main downtown street,” Stern said. “They took out the old gas light standards and put in electric lights. And they took out the old wooden water pipes and put in new clay pipes all the way down the street. They put down wide terrazzo sidewalks. And from that time up until the World’s Fair here in 1984, they were just perfect. But in 1984, they took up the terrazzo sidewalks and put down flagstone.”

Scharff was assistant city engineer when he decided to join Scharff and Jones, a family municipal bonds business, as accountant. “He went to night school at Tulane and learned accounting,” Stern said. “He was the head of the accounting department until they sold the business.”

Scharff has lived in the same house on Broadway Street for the past 62 years. Although he has been on his own since his wife died in 1975, he now receives around-the-clock help.

When Hurricane Georges threatened to flood New Orleans in October, Scharff joined his daughter and grandson, Mike Stern, and other family members who sought refuge in Monroe, La. He has two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

“My dad had not been on a trip like that in 15 years,” Stern said. “He had a ball!”

Scharff doesn’t pass out advice about how to achieve longevity, but he does emphasize one lesson he learned as a student.

“Tech encouraged each of us to be ourselves,” Scharff said. “I have found that attitude most helpful. Be yourself!” GT


Ellen Berkman, IE ’83, and her husband, Samy Amzallag, announced the birth of twins, Johnathan Avner and Leah Ann, on June 25. The family lives in Jerusalem, where Ellen is director of quality assurance for Excalibur Systems.

Joe Driscoll, IM ’83, became manufacturing manager with Kemet Electronics in Greenville, S.C., where he resides with his wife, Jean, and daughters April, Ashley and Abby.

Kathleen L. Maher, ME ’83, moved to Dublin, Ireland, to head the intellectual property department of Elan Pharmaceutical Research.

Cherryl Turner, HS ’83, of Alpharetta, Ga., has been promoted to project manager with HBO & Co.

Phillip S. Wofford, ME ’83, of Calhoun, Ga., was promoted to vice president of operations for YDK America.


Kelly Braun, ICS ’84, married Ed Gordon on Sept. 6. The couple lives in Foster City, Calif., where Kelly is a senior usability engineer for Oracle Corp.

Polly L. Oliver, AE ’84, of Federal Way, Wash., was registered in May as a patent attorney, licensed to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Charles R. Ruger, EE ’84, of Richmond, Va., became a financial adviser with American Express Financial Advisers in August.

Alan Smark, IM ’84, and his wife, Nancy Brydia Smark, IE ’85, announced the birth of a son, Cameron Trey, on July 15. Cameron joins brothers Jason and Brandon at the family home in Jacksonville, Fla., where Alan is a pilot with Delta Air Lines. ’85 Charles W. Bowen, EE ’85, joined USUnwired as vice president of CLEC/Internet Operations and Engineering. Bowen lives in Lake Charles, La., with his wife, Lori.

Anne Marie Krznarich Burke, IM ’85, and her husband, Lloyd A. Burke, announced the birth of a son, Brendan Lloyd, on March 23. Brendan joins his sister, Mary Elizabeth, at the family home in Suwanee, Ga., where Lloyd is a sales manager with Oracle Corp.

Deborah Eubanks Kinler, IE ’85, and her husband, Henry Kinler, of Dunwoody, Ga., announced the birth of a daughter, Payton Lane Kinler, on July 6.

Jeff Lawson, Phys ’85, of San Antonio, took a position as assistant professor of mathematics at Trinity University.

Andrew B. Scott, AE ’85, accepted a position with Rummel, Klepper and Kahl. In May, Scott earned a master’s degree in environmental engineering from Old Dominion University. He lives in Chesapeake, Va., with his wife, Micah, and daughters, Claire and Kara.

Nancy Brydia Smark, IE ’85, and her husband, Alan Smark, IM ’84, announced the birth of a son, Cameron Trey, on July 15. Cameron joins brothers Jason and Brandon at the family home in Jacksonville, Fla., where Alan is a pilot with Delta Air Lines.

Michael R. Sutcliff, EE ’85, MSM ’87, was promoted to partner with Andersen Consulting. Sutcliff lives in Alpharetta, Ga., with his wife, Susan Singleton Sutcliff, MSM ’87, and daughters, Catherine and Jane. ’86 Mike Baker, BC ’86, earned a master’s degree in pastoral studies from Loyola University in New Orleans. Baker serves as director of religious education and youth ministry at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife, Venus, live in Wake Village, Texas.

Bradley L. Bjerning, EE ’86, of Chicago, accepted a position as principal contract administrator with Commonwealth Edison Co.

Thurston D. Futch III, EE ’86, was promoted to senior program manager with Electromagnetic Sciences. Futch, his wife, Sandy, and daughters, Ellie and Sara, live in Lawrenceville, Ga.

Christopher Jordan, EE ’86, was promoted to major in the Air Force. Jordan lives in Bellevue, Neb., with his wife, Jennifer, and children, Katie and Wesley.

Mike Koster, EE ’86, MS EE ‘87, and his wife, Renee Dominy Koster, EE ’87, MS EE ‘88, announced the birth of a son, Philip Michael, on Oct. 1. Philip joins his brother, Andrew, at the family home in Alpharetta, Ga.

Richard A. Lawson, IE ’86, accepted a position as associate attorney with the law firm of King and Spalding. Richard and his wife, Dale Morgan Lawson, IM ’88, live in Dacula, Ga.

Michael L. Leetzow, HP ’86, accepted a position as patent counsel for Siecor Corp. Leetzow lives in Hickory, N.C., with his wife, Karen.

Mike Massey, IM ’86, and his wife, Havalyn Sullins Massey, Mgt ’88, MSM ’91, of St. Petersburg, Fla., announced the birth of a daughter, Sarah Katherine, on Aug. 5.

Talal Sadaka, CE ’86, MS CE ’89, and his wife, Donnie Robinson Sadaka, IE ’87, MS IE ’89, announced the birth of a daughter, Ciara Celine, on Jan. 28. The family resides in Atlanta, where Talal is an engineer with Parson’s Engineering Science. ’87 Melinda Mills Bolling, IM ’87, of Washington, earned a juris doctorate from Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law in May.

Barry Bradie, ICS ’87, married Jennifer K. Hansen on Aug. 15. The couple will live in New York.

Dan Fitzpatrick, BC ’87, of Marietta, Ga., was named senior project manager for Carter Healthcare.

Renee Dominy Koster, EE ’87, MS EE ‘88, and her husband, Mike Koster, EE ’86, MS EE ‘87, announced the birth of a son, Philip Michael, on Oct. 1. Philip joins his brother, Andrew, at the family home in Alpharetta, Ga.

Linda Johnson Peterson, IM ’87, and her husband, David Peterson, AE ’97, announced the birth of a son, Vance Gregory, on June 2. The family lives in Marietta, Ga., where David is a software

Leap of Faith

Co-op job inspired T. Renee Wilson to start $5 million company

While a student at Georgia Tech, T. Renee Wilson came up with an idea that she has turned into a $5 million company.

Wilson is the 23-year-old co-founder of Communications Management Group, or CMG, which provides one-stop, start-to-finish communications shopping, installation and training for businesses.

An Atlanta native and the daughter of schoolteachers, Wilson attended Georgia Tech for just one quarter in 1994, but that was long enough to begin an internship with AT&T. While at AT&T, she saw the need for what would become her business.

CMG is the parent company for two subsidiaries: NT Communications Consulting and NTCC Tech Staff.

“With larger companies, people think they have everything they need, that they only need to sell specific services or products—but that’s not true,” Wilson said. “We work from beginning to end to satisfy all their communications needs—voice communications, data communications, computer systems, marketing their company on the Internet and setting up Internet communications through the office.”

Although she transferred to Georgia State, Wilson remained at AT&T for three years while in college. She was immersed “in such a progressive, innovative environment” that she became convinced she could make it on her own.

“AT&T, of course, had the expertise in voice communications and was starting to work in data communications,” she said. “I saw the need for companies to meet with one entity to satisfy all their communications needs.”

After graduating from college in 1996, Wilson went to work with the Coca-Cola Co. After one year, she jumped into full-time entrepreneurship with business partner N.D. Brennan, an MCI sales veteran. At the time, Wilson said, she had saved about one Coca-Cola paycheck.

“We started with a whole lot of faith,” she said.

They hung CMG’s shingle out in the Equitable Building in downtown Atlanta and began making cold calls, working the crowds at Chamber of Commerce meetings. Ironically, though, their first customer was a Detroit travel agency—which called them to sell travel services, then stayed on the phone long enough to sign up for CMG’s services.

Next came an Atlanta insurance company, and word-of-mouth referrals began to spread. Now both AT&T and MCI are among the Fortune 500 companies on CMG’s client list.

In two years, Wilson and Brennan have added 12 employees and opened an office in Washington. They plan to open a third office in Los Angeles in March.

The company also is expanding its services, moving into CD marketing and multimedia website development.

“Basically, we can walk in and truly give an honest assessment as to what a customer needs,” Wilson said, with the customer not having to worry about CMG pushing a particular product line. “If what they have is good, and they don’t need to upgrade, we tell them that. We’ve lost some business, but we always get it back—a month later, they’ll give us a referral to another company.”

And already, Wilson is helping others make the entrepreneurial leap of faith.

“One of my passions is helping young people who are striving to be entrepreneurs avoid the ‘challenges’ that I went through,” she said, such as learning how best to market a new company.

Now that things are going well for her own company, she has time for fun outside the office—and even sleep.

“Oh, I play as hard as I work—aerobics, traveling, shopping, community activities and church,” Wilson said. “It’s totally different than when we started; it seemed like we worked 24 hours a day then. Now, my day starts around 5 a.m. and ends at 9 or 9:30 at night.” GT

engineer for Caldwell-Spartin Inc.

Joseph Kevin Pope, IE ’87, was promoted to the rank of Army major. Pope, his wife, Angelita, and son, Kevin Joseph, live in Ft. Lee, Va.

Donnie Robinson Sadaka, IE ’87, MS IE ’89, and her husband, Talal Sadaka, CE ’86, MS CE ’89, announced the birth of a daughter, Ciara Celine, on Jan. 28. The family lives in Atlanta, where Talal is an engineer with Parson’s Engineering Science.

Gregory Tarasidis, AE ’87, completed his otolaryngology residency and a fellowship in head and neck oncology and microvascular free-tissue transfer at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. He is in private practice in Greenwood, S.C., where he lives with his wife, Jamie Burnette Tarasidis, AE ’87, MS AE ’88, and two children.

Jack Weinstein, ME ’87, and his wife, SaraJane, announced the birth of a son, Isaac Sidney, on Aug. 2. The family lives in Downington, Pa., where Jack is employed by Pepperidge Farm.


Evan L. Cooper, Chem ’88, of Sinking Springs, Pa., earned a doctorate from Duke University and is an assistant professor at Penn State University/Berks-Lehigh Valley.

Eric Eck, ME ’88, of Camden, Ark., accepted a mill pro engineer position with Beloit in Texarkana, Texas.

Kevin Halligan, EE ’88, MS EE ’89, and his wife, Kay, announced the birth of a daughter, Emily Ann, on Aug. 1. The family lives in Dallas, where Kevin is a systems engineer with Raytheon.

Dan Holland, AE ’88, and his wife, Karen, announced the birth of a son, Matthew Daniel, on Aug. 1. Matthew joins brothers Benjamin and Jordan at home in Rockingham, N.C., where Dan is production manager for Sealed Air Corp.

Havalyn Sullins Massey, Mgt ’88, MSM ’91, and her husband, Mike Massey, IM ’86, announced the birth of a daughter, Sarah Katherine, on Aug. 5. The family lives in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Don Ream, IM ’88, married Heidi Wilson on July 25. The couple lives in Macon, Ga.

George Stenger, Mgt ’88, of Doraville, Ga., was promoted to export sales manager, Caribbean and Central American regions, with AGCO Corp. in Duluth, Ga.

Allen Chris Stovall, CE ’88, accepted a position as lead engineer for Thomas and Hutton Engineering Co. Stovall, his wife, Teresa, and daughter, Guiliana Rose, live in Savannah, Ga.

Nora M. Tocups, EE ’88, of Decatur, Ga., has joined the law firm of Jones and Askew as counsel in their intellectual property practice group. Tocups is a past president of the State Bar of Georgia’s intellectual property law section, and a member of the Georgia Association of Women Lawyers and the National Association of Women Lawyers.

Jim White, EE ’88, and his wife, Sindy Lee, EE ’89, MS EE ’91, announced the birth of a daughter, Sharon, on Feb. 21. The family lives in Duluth, Ga.


Richard Barnes, EE ’89, of Madison, Ala., received a master’s degree in business administration from Alabama A&M University in July. Barnes is employed with Intergraph as a test engineer.

Mark B. Benjamin, AE ’89, recently received a Navy and Marine Corps commendation medal for his performance aboard the nuclear-powered attack submarine USS Tucson.

Dirk Botterbusch, IE ’89, of Atlanta, was recently promoted to senior manager in the Management Consulting Group of Ernst & Young LLP.

Doug Deakin, APhy ’89, and his wife, Georgia Deakin, Mgt ’90, announced the birth of a son, Luke Edwin, on June 26. Luke joins brothers Will and Jack at the family home in Douglasville, Ga., where Doug is an enviromental engineer with the EPA, and Georgia is an environmental engineer with the EPA.

Benjamin L. Fischer, ME ’89, married Jessica Selby on June 13. The couple lives in Signal Mountain, Tenn., where Fischer is employed by Steam & Control Systems.

David Fletcher, ME ’89, MS ISyE ’90, was promoted to technical director of the Hershey Foods account for Printpak. Fletcher lives in Hershey, Pa., with his wife, Jennifer Fletcher, ISyE ’90, and son, Jack Alexander. Jennifer is a part-time consultant for Walton/Stout Inc.

Greg Holden, Mgt ’89, recently joined Law Cos. Group as director of financial reporting. Holden, his wife, Kristen, and daughter, Sarah, live in Woodstock, Ga.

Sindy Lee, EE ’89, MS EE ’91, and her husband, Jim White, EE ’88, announced the birth of a daughter, Sharon, on Feb. 21. The family lives in Duluth, Ga.

Jacqueline W. Quinn, CE ’89, and her husband, Shawn Quinn, EE ’90, announced the birth of a daughter, Katerina, on Oct. 3, 1997. The family lives in Titusville, Fla., where both Jacqueline and Shawn work for NASA.

Esteban Uriarte, EE ’89, and his wife, Lina, announced the birth of a son, Andres Julian, on June 26. The family lives in Guayanabo, Puerto Rico, where Esteban is employed by Medtronic Med Rel.


Thomas W. Brooks, CE ’90, married Jennifer A. Lehr on Aug. 1. Brooks is a former employee of the Georgia Tech Athletic Association who recently accepted a position as director of marketing and communications with the University of Michigan Athletic Department. The couple lives in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Georgia Deakin, Mgt ’90, and her husband, Doug Deakin, APhy ’89, announced the birth of a son, Luke Edwin, on June 26. Luke joins brothers Will and Jack at the family home in Douglasville, Ga., where Georgia is a financial analyst with UPS, and Doug is an environmental engineer with the EPA.

Michael E. Hopkins, ESM ’90, moved to Ballina, Ireland, to become financial controller of a new manufacturing facility under construction in western Ireland.

Shawn Quinn, EE ’90, and his wife, Jacqueline W. Quinn, CE ’89, announced the birth of a daughter, Katerina, on Oct. 3, 1997. The family lives in Titusville, Fla., where both Shawn and Jacqueline are employed by NASA.

Chris Sigg, IE ’90, and his wife, Anne, both graduated with master’s of business degrees from the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler School of Busi

Founding Father

Graduate discovers family tree has deep Georgia Tech roots

Lee Dunn made a surprising discovery in the weeks leading up to her son’s Sept. 4 graduation ceremony—the event would bring their family ties with Georgia Tech full circle.

Although no one knew it until the last few weeks, Matthew Dunn, who received a management degree at commencement exercises, was graduating from the “technological school” co-founded by his great-great-great-grandfather, John Fletcher Hanson.

Lee and her husband, Michael, moved from their native California to Atlanta in 1983. As she was researching her husband’s family history, Mrs. Dunn saw several references to Hanson helping found a technological school. When she realized it was Georgia Tech, she said she began to cry.

“I had no idea it was Georgia Tech!” she said, delighted. “We didn’t know about the family connection when Matthew chose to go to Tech.”

“It came as quite a shock,” Matthew agreed.

Researching newspaper articles and historical references, including Dress Her in White and Gold: A Biography of Georgia Tech, Mrs. Dunn learned a lot about John Fletcher Hanson.

In 1882, Hanson was a textile manufacturer and manager of The Macon Telegraph and Messenger, who convinced Nathaniel Edwin Harris, a Macon lawyer and candidate for the state House, that Georgia needed a technological school. After Harris was elected, he introduced a resolution to appoint a committee to consider establishing such a school.

The resolution passed, and Harris, who would later become governor of Georgia, was named chair of the committee, which went on a fact-finding tour of some of the leading technological schools in the Northeast. Modeled after Worcester Free Institute in Massachusetts, Georgia Tech was established on Oct. 13, 1885.

Hanson was probably one of the most influential behind-the-scenes political figures in Georgia in the 1880s, according to Robert McMath, vice provost for Undergraduate Studies and Academic Affairs, historian and co-author of Engineering the New South.

“More than any other individual, John F. Hanson deserves to be remembered as Georgia Tech’s founder and the creator of its tradition of promoting economic development through technological education,” McMath said. “Hanson’s role in politics, his newspaper and his protégé, Nathaniel Harris, all helped shape the beginning of Georgia Tech.” GT

ness. The couple lives in Boston.

Brian P. Wright, Mgt ’90, and his wife, Teresa, announced the birth of a son, Mitchell Thomas, on Aug. 22. Mitchell joins his brother, Scott, and sisters, Kylie and Megan, at the family home in Kennesaw, Ga., where Brian is a market manager with Lockheed Martin.


Gary M. Butler, EE ’91, MS Mgt ’93, was promoted to manager at Andersen Consulting. Butler and his wife, Julie Doris Butler, IntA ’93, MS PubP ’95, live in Fayetteville, Ga.

LaShon Harley, EE ’91, of Durham, N.C., was admitted to the North Carolina Bar in March. Harley is a business development consultant with NCIMED.

William R. Rhyne Jr., TE ’91, accepted a position as director of industrial engineering for Harris Teeter Inc. Rhyne lives in Matthews, N.C.

Lisa Joy Stacholy, M Arch ’91, and her husband, Jan, announced the birth of a daughter, Marissa Janell, on Aug. 9. Marissa joins her sister, Serina, at the family home in Tucker, Ga., where Lisa is president of LKS Architects.

Renee S. Wolven, MS OR ’91, was featured in the “Up Through the Ranks” section of the May 4 edition of Traffic World magazine. Wolven is vice president of engineering at Schneider International Inc.


David Bergeron, EE ’92, and his wife, Shannon, announced the birth of a daughter, Mia Claire, on Aug. 13. Mia joins her brother, Brian, at the family home in Ba- ton Rouge, La., where David is a supervisor with Exxon Chemical.

Katrida Collier, EE ’92, has joined the electrical technology group for the law firm of Jones and Askew. Previously, Collier was a litigation attorney with Winstead Sechrest and Minick in Dallas.

Joe Daniels, Mgt ’92, and his wife, Amy Palmer Daniels, Mgt ’92, announced the birth of a daughter, Mary Bryce, on May 11. Mary joins her sister, Palmer, at the family home in Decatur, Ga.

Jayanta Debnath, Chem ’92, graduated from Harvard Medical School in June and is completing her residency at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard.

Eve E. Whitney Robison, AE ’92, and her husband, Kevin C. Robison, EE ’93, announced the birth of a son, Keller Avery, on Feb. 10. The family lives in Houston, where Eve is employed by S&B Engineers.

Jay Rogers, Mgt ’92, and his

Technology Topic Holds World’s Ear

When Alfred Ritter talks about technology, the world listens.

Alfred Ritter, who retired in 1986 as director of technology for Calspan Corp. (formerly Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory), is a consultant to clients in government, industry and academia. A 1943 aeronautical engineering graduate of Georgia Tech, the Huntsville, Ala., resident also received his master’s and doctorate from Cornell University.

Ritter participated in an academic exchange program this past summer, carrying a technology message to China.

Ritter, a member of Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering Hall of Fame, spent 10 days in China, talking about modern technology, providing a historical perspective and discussing the impact of technology on the future.

“In the Institute of Mechanics, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, I spoke without a translator,” he said. “A lot of the people there had done graduate work in the United States, so they spoke English pretty well.”

When he spoke to the Beijing Institute of Aerodynamics, a translator was present. “I think I did better with a translator,” Ritter said. “It forced me to think a little more precisely.” GT

wife, Tina, announced the birth of a son, Chase Ryan, on Aug. 18. Chase joins his brother, Taylor Scott, at the family home in Lawrenceville, Ga.

Robert P. Thornburgh, AE ’92, married Shandran Jones on May 17. The couple lives in Tempe, Ariz., where Robert is a graduate student at Arizona State University.


Roberto A. Arrieta, MS CE ’93, earned a master’s in business administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in June. He has joined Chase Manhattan Bank in New York.

Jacqueline Hull Christmas, ME ’93, and her husband, Jerryl, announced the birth of a daughter, Jendaya Niara, in January.

Darren W. Gore, TE ’93, MS TE ’95, of Smyrna, Tenn., has joined Wiser Co. as a project manager for their engineering services group.

Chris L. Hagler, MS Mgt ’93, of Snellville, Ga., was appointed director of operations of Resources Connection, an affiliate of Deloitte and Touche.

Whitney Kirk McGuire, ChE ’93, and Brian McGuire, ChE ’96, were married on Aug. 8. The couple lives in Roswell, Ga., where Whitney is a product manager for Henkel Surface Technicians and Brian is a process engineer with Kendall Medical.

Leonard G. Ray, Arch ’93, and his wife, Linda Murphy Ray, IE ’94, announced the birth of a son, Connor Jackson, on Jan. 4. Both captains in the Air Force, Leonard is currently stationed in Saudi Arabia as an explosive ordnance officer, while Linda, a contracting officer, remains with their two children at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas.

Kevin C. Robison, EE ’93, and his wife, Eve E. Whitney Robison, AE ’92, announced the birth of a son, Keller Avery, on Feb. 10. The family lives in Houston, where Eve is employed by S&B Engineers.

Eric B. Svensson, ChE ’93, and his wife, Amy, announced the birth of a son, Andrew Eric, on Aug. 7. The family lives in Bartlett, Tenn., where Eric is a lieutenant in the Navy.

Russell E. Wood, ME ’93, has completed a three-year tour aboard the USS Enterprise, where

Greens Stamp

The U.S. Postal Service honored golf legend Bobby Jones with his own stamp, part of the “Celebrate the Century” collection to mark the new millennium. The stamp, which pictures the Georgia Tech alumnus who built Augusta National, commemorates the era of the 1930s, along with stamps representing Jesse Owens, “Gone With the Wind,” President Franklin D. Roosevelt and others. A 1922 mechanical engineering graduate, Jones won golf’s Grand Slam of the British Amateur, British Open, U.S. Amateur and U.S. Open in 1930.
he served as a nuclear engineer. He and his wife, Wendy, live in Atlanta, where Russell is an officer recruiter for the Navy.


John R. Gunn, ISyE ’94, and his wife, Eleanor, announced the birth of a daughter, Eleanor Anne, on June 6. The family lives in Alpharetta, Ga., where John is employed by McCall Consulting Group.

Tracy Hollink, ME ’94, married Justin Bevington, ME ’96, on July 18. The couple lives in Everett, Wash., where they both work with the Boeing Co.

Philip Todd Maxwell, IE ’94, married Katy Ruth Peterson, MatE ’95, on April 25. Philip is employed by Coca-Cola Enterprises and Katy works for Motorola. The couple lives in Norcross, Ga.

Victor J. Owens, IE ’94, earned a master’s degree in business administration from the Harvard School of Business. He is employed with Deloitte Consulting in Atlanta.

Toby A. Rider, Arch ’94, of Torrance, Calif., was promoted to head of technical support at Automated Transaction Services, Inc.

Daniel Rothman, CS/DMth ’94, and his wife, Lori, announced the birth of a daughter, Magaret Sadr, on June 27. The family lives in Herndon, Va.

S.K. Sundaram, PhD CerE ’94, of Richland, Wash., was in-cluded in the Marquis Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, 4th edition, 1998-99. Sundaram is a senior research scientist for Northwest National Laboratory’s Environmental Technology Division.

Sean Thomas Williams, CE ’94, MS CE ’96, married Beth Lea Schuster on May 30. The couple lives in West Palm Beach, Fla., where Sean is a civil engineer with Mock, Roos and Associates.


Tabitha H. Barnette, ME ’95, and her husband, Tyrone, of Ellenwood, Ga., announced the birth of a son, Johnathan Edward, on May 28. Tabitha is the administrative manager of Georgia Tech’s department of academic affairs.

Mary R. Barton, Econ ’95, received a master’s in business administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management in June. Barton lives in Belmont, Mass., where she is an associate with Analysis Group.

Thomas R. Park, Math ’95, received a master’s degree from Georgia Southern University in June. Park lives in Huntsville, Ala., where he is a doctoral student at the University of Alabama at Huntsville. v Tricia Reynolds, M CP ’95, of Hickory, N.C., was chosen to head Hickory’s newly created Office of Neighborhoods, a division of the city manager’s office. Reynolds serves as staff to the Historic Preservation Commission, and was certified as a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners in July.


James Eric Anderson, TE ’96, married Kim Calhoon on Sept. 5. The couple lives in Duluth, Ga., where James is employed by Software Solutions.

Natasha Aisha Bevans, EE ’96, married Keith Bevans in March. The couple lives in Schaumburg, Ill., where Natasha is a systems engineer with Motorola, and Keith is a consultant with Bain and Co.

Justin Bevington, ME ’96, married Tracy Hollink, ME ’94, on July 18. The couple lives in Everett, Wash., where they both work with the Boeing Co.

Scot W. DeLancey, IE ’96, was married to Kira Stephanie Hospodar on July 25. The couple lives in Lawrenceville, Ga., where Scot is a consultant with Deloitte Consulting.

Robert J. Johnston, MS AE ’96, graduated from the Navy Test Pilot School at the Naval Air Station in Patuxent, Md.

Brian McGuire, ChE ’96, and Whitney Kirk McGuire, ChE ’93, were married on Aug. 8. The couple lives in Roswell, Ga., where Brian is a process engineer with Kendall Medical, and Whitney is a product manager for Henkel Surface Technicians.

Sanjay Parekh, EE ’96, and Tanvi Dalal, Biol ’96, were married on July 11. The couple lives in Duluth, Ga., where Sanjay is employed by Arris Interactive, and Tamri works for Norcross Medical Clinic.

Elizabeth Hope Wallace, Arch ’96, of Atlanta, completed a master’s degree in city and regional planning at Rutgers University in May and is a management consultant with Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp.


Charles J. Packard, MS AE ’97, a major in the Army, recently graduated from the Navy Test Pilot School in Patuxent, Md.

David Peterson, AE ’97, and his wife, Linda Johnson Peterson, IM ’87, announced the birth of a son, Vance Gregory, on June 2. They live in Marietta, Ga., where David is a software engineer for Caldwell-Spartin Inc.



Oscar Leon Betts Jr., CE ’24, of Columbus, Ga., on Oct. 8. Mr. Betts was retired as vice president and secretary of the Jordan Co. He was a past recipient of the Georgia Society of Engineers’ Engineer of the Year award and a member of Sigma Nu fraternity.

Albert G. Pirkle, GE ’27, of Atlanta, on Oct. 5. Mr. Pirkle was joint owner of the Atlanta Transit System prior to its purchase by

Michael Sappington, Alumni Trustee, Dies

Michael Sappington, IE ’70, a member of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association’s Board of Trustees, died of a massive heart attack on Sept. 30. He was 50. Mr. Sappington served on the Alexander-Tharpe Fund and was on the board of directors of the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering. He received ISyE’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1997, and will be posthumously inducted into Georgia Tech’s Academy of Distinguished Engineers later this month.

Mr. Sappington was chief executive officer of Lake Engineering, an Atlanta engineering and consulting firm he founded in 1982. An Air Force veteran of the Vietnam War, he flew more than 100 missions over North Vietnam as a navigator in an F-4 Phantom fighter.

While attending Georgia Tech, Sappington was president of Delta Sigma Chi fraternity, treasurer of Student Government and a member of the Ramblin’ Wreck Club. GT

MARTA. He was a member of the Exchange Club, Georgia Power Ambassadors and the MARTA retirees club. He was listed in Who’s Who in Georgia for 1963.


Sidney B. Allen, Cls ’34, of Decatur, Ga., on Sept. 7. Mr. Allen was a Navy veteran of World War II.

Joseph R. Bracewell Jr., CE ’32, of Jacksonville, Fla., on June 26.

Robert H. Byers, ChE ’39, of Decatur, Ga., on Oct. 3.

William Pierce Clark, Cls ’30, of Columbus, Ga., on Aug. 12. Mr. Clark was retired from the Army as a lieutenant colonel after serving in World War II and the Korean War. He also was the retired vice president and secretary of the J.R. Cheshire Laundry and Dry Cleaning Machinery Co. of Atlanta.

William K. Converse, Cls ’33, of Atlanta, on Oct. 9. Mr. Converse was a project manager with Consonix Inc. He started his career in the construction business at age 14, when he worked as a “powder monkey” for his father’s renovation of the old Atlanta post office. Some of Mr. Converse’s later work included the Hugh Spalding addition to Grady Hospital, the Academy of Medicine on West Peachtree, the convention hall of the Biltmore Hotel and the transformation of the Fox Theatre’s Spanish Room into a concession area.

Phil Isaac Harr, AE ’36, of Hagerstown, Md., on April 30, 1997. Mr. Harr was a retired defense contractor with General Dynamics Corp. where he was involved with the Atlas space booster program that launched America’s first manned spacecraft. While at Tech, he was business manager of the 1936 Blue Print and president of Sigma Chi fraternity.

Ben P. Jones, Cls ’38, of Canton, Ga., on March 2. Mr. Jones was retired from Jones Mercantile Co.

William W. Moore, IM ’39, of East Point, Ga., on Aug. 21. Mr. Moore was retired from the Air Force as a lieutenant. During his 26-year military career, he worked on early warning radar systems for the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD). Following his retirement, Mr. Moore worked for Georgia’s state health department in grants and management.

Cornelius F. O’Shea, ME ’39, of Asheville, N.C., on Sept. 21. While at Tech, Mr. O’Shea was a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Tau Beta Pi, Phi Eta Sigma, President’s Gold “T,” Pi Tau Sigma and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Martin I. Teem Jr., Cls ’35, of Ellijay, Ga., on Feb. 16. Mr. Teem was retired as an assistant division engineer for construction with the Georgia Department of Transportation, he served on the board of directors for the North Georgia Regional Development Center. A colonel in the Pacific Theatre during World War II, Mr. Teem played football and baseball at Tech.

Benjamin Thompson Jr., ChE ’34, of Kingsport, Tenn., on June 9. Mr. Thompson was retired from the Eastman Chemical Co. An Army lieutenant during World War II, he served in the Pacific Theatre with the Air Corps and received the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star for his munitions designs. Mr. Thompson taught chemistry at Northeast State Technical Community College in Blountville, Tenn., and was a participant in the 1995 and 1997 National Senior Games where he won bronze and gold medals for swimming.

John K. Towers, Com ’33, of Savannah, Ga., on June 3. A Navy veteran of World War II, Mr. Towers was retired from the Internal Revenue Service.

Robert Dixon Walker Jr., Chem ’35, of Gainesville, Fla., on April 22. Mr. Walker was a professor emeritus of chemical engineering at the University of Florida and former chairman of the department of chemical engineering. He was a member of the American Chemical Society, Sigma Xi and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.


James A. Hiegel, BS ’41, of Winter Springs, Fla., on June 4. Mr. Hiegel was retired from the Navy as a captain.

Riley A. Holt, TE ’41, of Decatur, Ga., on June 10. Mr. Holt was retired as chief executive officer of Atlanta Bias Fabrics.

William B. Klinke III, IM ’46, of Houston, on July 7. Mr. Klinke was the retired director of engineering for Borden Inc. During his retirement, he did engineering and management work for Sewell Plastics Co. in Atlanta. While at Tech, Mr. Klinke was a member of Kappa Alpha Order; president of his sophomore, junior and senior classes; and president of the student body.

Lloyd E. Parks, PhD Chem ’40, of Charlotte, N.C., on July 23. Mr. Parks was retired as president of the Lloyd Parks Co.

Grover C. Wilkins Jr., CE ’41, of Dallas, on June 25. Mr. Wilkins was a retired design engineer with Halff Associates Inc. While in the Army Air Corps, Mr. Wilkins was director of aircraft testing at Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio. At Tech, he was a captain of the ROTC and a first string running back on the football team.

James Sterling Young, EE ’41, of Tallahassee, Fla., on July 4. Mr. Young was a retired employee of RCA/GE. He was a Navy veteran of World War II.


Charles M. Allen, EE ’50, of Jessup, Md., on May 6. Mr. Allen was retired from Westinghouse Electric.

W. Ray Camp Jr., Cls ’54, of Marietta, Ga., on March 7. Mr. Camp was retired as president of Ray Camp Inc.

Henry “Hank” Hautman Chambless Jr., IM ’58, of Rocky Mount, N.C., on July 26. Mr. Chambless was a self-employed manufacturer’s representative.

Samuel W. Coons, IM ’52, of Gainesville, Fla., on Aug. 6. Mr. Coons was a retired manager of Insurance Services Office.

Charles Edward Holman, IM ’52, of Rockford, Ala., on Aug. 29. Mr. Holman was retired from Alabama Power Co. He was a veteran of World War II, and a member of the Alabama Cattleman’s Association and the Coosa County Chamber of Commerce. While at Tech, Mr. Holman was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.

George C. McKoy, MS Phys ’54, of Sequim, Wash., on Feb. 25. Mr. McKoy was an engineering staff specialist for various defense contractors, including General Dynamics and the Aerospace Corp., and a principal investigator of the Advanced Fire Control System. He held a patent on a Doppler signal generator and was a member of the Retired Scientists Club.

William B. Raines, BS ’53, of Augusta, Ga., on April 26. Mr. Raines was a retired appraisal supervisor with Banker’s First Savings and Loan.

Lincoln Phelps Rice, EE ’53, MS EE ’54, of Williamsburg, Va., on May 9. Mr. Rice was retired from Bell Telephone Laboratories and was a Navy veteran of World War II and the Korean War.

John M. Stanley, IE ’51, of Amarillo, Texas, on Sept. 12. Mr. Stanley was a retired district manager with Square D Electric Co.

Oscar B. “O.B.” Stewart Jr., CE ’53, of St. Petersburg, Fla., on June 22. Mr. Stewart was retired from the Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Energy. He retired from the Army as a lieutenant colonel and he was a veteran of the Korean War.

Ralph McBee Walker Jr., AE ’53, of Ft. Worth, Texas, on July 17. Mr. Walker was a retired aerospace engineer with General Dynamics. He was past president of the National Space and Rocket Society and past president of Sigma Nu fraternity.

Douglas L. Wheeler, Text ’52, of Roswell, Ga., on Oct. 10. Mr. Wheeler was retired from Eastman Chemical Products.


John H. “Harry” Graham, IM ’61, of Atlanta, on Aug. 9. Mr. Graham was a retired food program specialist with the Department of Agriculture’s Food and

El Niño Authority Dies
Peter Sassone, associate professor, famous for weather research

Peter G. Sassone, associate professor in the School of Economics, an authority on El Niño and a Georgia Tech faculty member for 27 years, died of heart failure Aug. 13 at the age of 50.

Dr. Sassone was featured by national media for his research on the effects of El Niño. His findings on the resulting benefits from El Niño’s improved weather forecasts helped prompt Congress to authorize significant investments in satellites and weather buoys.

His book, Cost Benefit Analysis: A Handbook, co-authored with William A. Schaffer, is considered a seminal work in the discipline, and made him one of the most visible and externally respected members of the School of Economics. GT

Nutrition Service. A former Eagle Scout, Mr. Graham was an adult leader in the Boy Scouts of America.

William Dunn Mallard Jr., IM ’61, MS IM ’63, of Atlanta, on Aug. 25. Mr. Mallard served as assistant U.S. attorney for Atlanta and Birmingham, Ala., and later went into private practice. He was administrative law judge for the Social Security Administration and a retired lieutenant colonel in the Army.

August J. Nechi, PhD ME ’69, of Stone Mountain, Ga., on Aug. 8. Mr. Nechi was a professor at Georgia Tech and at Washington University.

William Franklin Smith, ChE ’63, of Villa Rica, Ga., on June 26. Mr. Smith was the water plant operator for the city of Villa Rica for 24 years. He was also a member of the Army Reserve in Jacksonville, Fla., where he worked for the Glidden Chemical Co. and as a pollution engineer for the state. The day before his death, Mr. Smith was honored by Villa Rica city officials when they named the water plant after him.


Jane Leila Looney, MS ’76, of

Demetrius Paris, Headed Tech’s Graduate Program

Demetrius T. Paris, who oversaw the creation of Georgia Tech’s Microelectronics Research Center and the development a nationally respected graduate teaching and research program, died of cerebral hemorrhage Aug. 29. He was 69.

Dr. Paris earned his master’s degree in electrical engineering at Georgia Tech in 1958 and joined the school’s faculty in 1959 while working on his doctorate, which he earned in 1961.

He was director of the School of Electrical Engineering from 1969 to 1989, and was responsible for the establishment of the Microelectronics Research Center.

Dr. Paris was vice president for Research and Graduate Programs from 1989 to 1995. During his tenure, Tech went from regional distinction to national prominence in both teaching and research, and established a graduate co-op program. In 1995, Dr. Paris returned to the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering as research programs coordinator. GT

Atlanta, on Aug. 13. Ms. Looney was an actuary and principal with William M. Mercer Inc. She was a fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries.


Kendall E. Anderson, EE ’87, of Marietta, Ga. Mr. Anderson was an engineer with BellSouth.


Rebecca Emilie Banks, Mgt ’98, of Marietta, Ga., on Aug. 25. Ms. Banks was a senior at Tech when she lost a lifelong battle with Cystic Fibrosis. She was the Cystic Fibrosis poster child in 1981 and was featured with several celebrities during Cystic Fibrosis fund-raising events. While at Tech, Ms. Banks was a member of the stock investment club.

Phillip Wesley Davis, IE ’93, of Atlanta, on Oct. 13. Mr. Davis was a math teacher at Atlanta Country Day School.


James S. Allen, a retired Air Force brigadier general and director of Washington Operations for the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), died Aug. 23 in a fire at his Arlington, Va., home. He was 56. A 28-year veteran of the Air Force, Mr. Allen had represented the interests of Georgia Tech in the Washington community since 1993, helping GTRI build international defense work.

Hugh Bishop, of Atlanta, on Sept. 13. Mr. Bishop taught aviation courses at Georgia Tech. He was retired as southeastern credit manager for Westinghouse Supply Co. and was a World War II Army Air Corps veteran.

Jennie Karlson Coursey, of Atlanta, on Sept. 26. Mrs. Coursey was the wife of Robert E. Coursey Jr., ME ’52, and the mother of Lynda Coursey, IM ’75, and Robert Stevan Coursey, ME ’78, MS ME ’81.

Edmund L. Fortier, of Sandy Springs, Ga., on Aug. 22. Mr. Fortier was a major contributor to Georgia Tech athletics whose sons, Michael E. Fortier, IM ’67, and Edmund Alan Fortier, IM ’83, were members of the Yellow Jackets football team. An Army Air Corps veteran of World War II and graduate of Loyola University, Mr. Fortier was a retired manufacturer’s representative.

Harriet Estes Peteet, of Atlanta, on Aug. 2. Mrs. Peteet was an instructor and lecturer at Georgia Tech. A graduate of the University of Kentucky and Emory University, Mrs. Peteet also worked to provide research for governmental agencies.

Charles Edward Stoneking, of Atlanta, on Aug. 11. Dr. Stoneking was a professor of engineering mechanics at Georgia Tech for 17 years. He is survived by his son, Jerry E. Stoneking, EM ’65, of Knoxville, Tenn.

Retrospective: Preserving Freedom

During the crisis-filled days following the Soviet Union’s blockade, B-29 bombers provided the ‘back-up stick’ behind the Berlin Airlift

When the Soviet Union attempted to isolate postwar West Berlin by severing all overland routes in June 1948, the U.S. and British response was the massive Berlin Airlift. Cargo planes flew ‘round-the-clock missions to deliver essential supplies to the city. Donald I. Hackney, AE ’50, MS AE 51, was assigned to a B-29 group in England that provided “back-up stick” support to the cargo planes that made about 600 flights a day.

Hackney joined the Army Air Corps in 1943 and received an appointment to West Point. He graduated in 1946. Two years later, he was assigned to the B-29 group supporting the airlift. Following the collapse of the Soviet blockade, Hackney attended Georgia Tech through an Air Force program. A retired Air Force colonel, Hackney worked in the planning bureau under Jimmy Carter during his term as governor of Georgia (1970-74). Hackney is an active member in the Savannah Georgia Tech Club.

Fifty years ago, the entire world was tense as the United States and the Soviet Union seemed on the brink of a real war—just as the Cold War was starting. On June 24, 1948, the Russians cut off all ground and water access to West Berlin, which comprised the occupation sectors of the United States, Britain, and France.

The blockade left that part of the city—with more than 2 million people—a virtual island in a sea of communism with no visible means of support. The people could have starved.

The Russian objective was to force the Western Allies to withdraw from the city and from Germany. They had 30 powerful divisions to back up what they were doing. Allied withdrawal, however, was rejected.

President Harry Truman laid out in simple terms two seemingly contradictory policy guidelines. The United States did not want to abandon Berlin, but did not want to risk war. That was the task.

Gen. Lucius Clay, commander of U.S. forces in Europe, decided on an airlift, a massive undertaking with meager forces immediately available, but little optimism that it would be successful.

The Berlin Airlift began on June 26, two days after the blockade started. Over the next 11 months, the skilled and courageous cargo pilots and crews flew more than a quarter-million missions, bringing more than two million tons of supplies, food, coal, shoes, medicine, and other necessities into beleaguered West Berlin.

The airlift kept the people of West Berlin alive and made Germany a new and lasting ally. The Russians did not believe it could be done, and, at first, neither did the Allies. But it was successful, and the Russians under Joseph Stalin backed off, lifting the blockade in May 1949.

Why did the Russians back off? There were two reasons. The United States and its allies demonstrated unity and determination not to cave in and withdraw from Berlin. They accomplished this without provocation through the Berlin Airlift.

The other reason was that the United States further demonstrated its resolve to stay the course by sending a fleet of 60 B-29 bombers to England just in case something happened. It gave the Russians a clear signal that the United States was serious about its commitment to Berlin.

In June 1948, I was a 24-year-old B-29 pilot stationed in Florida, assigned to the 307th Bomb Group, a unit of the newly formed Strategic Air Command. The “A-bomb”-capable B-29 was a four-engine plane that had been the workhorse bomber in the Pacific campaign against Japan.

We were out over the Gulf of Mexico flying a training mission in late June 1948, when we got a radio call to return to the base. We suspected an overseas flight, which would be nothing new. When the medics started hitting us with needles in both arms at the same time, we knew for sure it would be back overseas again, this time for a mission, not just another training exercise.

We spent most of the night getting the B-29s loaded and ready. We were back on the flight line at 4:30 a.m. to prepare for take-off. We refueled in Bermuda so we could fly a non-stop, low-level training flight at 1,000 feet over the ocean and into the Royal Air Force Station at Marham, hard by The Wash, a bay about 90 miles north of London. Two more B-29 Bomb Groups from Kansas and North Dakota landed at two other RAF Stations. The fleet of B-29s was then within easy striking distance, if needed.

Airlift crews flew an average of 600 flights a day, 25 an hour. At peak periods, a plane landed about every three minutes at each of the three Berlin airports used by the airlift. The operation eventually became very efficient and almost routine, even with the threat of Russian fighter planes.

One airlift pilot made tiny parachutes from handkerchiefs and strings to drop candy to the children near the airport on his way to deliver the real cargo. The German children loved it and called him the “Candy Bomber.” The Germans and the Russians, especially, and indeed the entire world were thankful when the confrontation ended with only the candy bombers dropping treats, instead of the real thing.

Although 31 Americans in the airlift lost their lives due to accidents, such as overshooting the runway and mid-air collisions, the 278,228 flights they made in a congested area over a relatively short period of time were nothing less than miraculous.

Russian fighter planes continuously harassed the unarmed cargo planes by flying in close and then peeling off. But they never fired a shot.

The Russians knew the 60 B-29s had not flown into England to pass the time of day, and that they would act swiftly. Our B-29 group had hot guns and conventional, highly destructive bombs that would undoubtedly have been used to retaliate, if bombing became necessary.

Everybody knew the B-29 had nuclear capability since the weapon was used in 1945 against Japan, helping end World War II. The atomic bomb-carrying B-29s could be brought in on short notice, but I am sure the Russians wanted no part of that, and the U.S. would be reluctant to use the weapon unless a confrontation was getting out of hand. In 1948, the Russians had no nuclear capability, so they would clearly have been at a strategic disadvantage. During the entire episode, the United States played a cool hand with a trump card and patience.

With the determined crews of the airlift and the threat of the B-29s hanging over their heads, the Russians finally realized their blockade was futile. GT