4:36 p.m., June 7, 2010----As part of the Forum & Reunion Weekend, 10 University of Delaware graduates were recognized for their outstanding professional and public service achievements by being inducted into the University Alumni Association Wall of Fame.
Brian F. Atwater ('80Ph.D.), David F. Butters ('79 '82M), Theodore H. Carski ('86Ph.D.), New Jersey Gov. Christopher J. Christie ('84), Arthur J. Coury ('62), Jo Anne Pryor Deshon ('80M '00Ed.D.), Michael S. Geltzeiler ('80), Bangalore T. Lakshman ('71M), Margaret van Heek ('85) and David F. Welch ('81) were inducted in a ceremony at the Roselle Center for the Arts on Saturday, June 5.
“These inductees have made exceptional achievements in their life's work and have impacted our society's quality of life,” said Cindy Campanella, director of alumni relations, to the audience of honorees, family, faculty and friends.
Selected from more than 146,000 alumni, Campanella added that these individual accomplishments further the value of a UD diploma for all alumni.
“The world-wide recognition of these individuals brings pride to the University of Delaware and inspires fellow alumni and current students alike,” Campanella said.
The awards were presented by UD President Patrick Harker along with Alan Brayman, president of the UD Alumni Association. Harker noted that these individuals are in the top 0.1 percent of alumni, and this group's “leadership is shaping the world.”
Brian F. Atwater
Atwater, who was not present for the ceremony due to a geological study in Indonesia, graduated from UD with a doctorate in geology. He has traveled around the globe conducting research on Holocene sea levels, Quaternary alluviation, Eocene core complexes and Pleistocene floods. He is most noted for his discovery of the megatsunami and presumed 9.0 earthquake that hit the Pacific Northwest in 1700. In 2007, he received the U.S. Geological Survey's Excellence in Leadership award and was also elected into the National Academy of Sciences.
David F. Butters
Receiving his bachelor of science in Earth and space science education as well as a master's in education, Butters spent a large part of his life in the Army, rising to the rank of command sergeant major -- faster than anyone else in the Army at that time. After retiring from the Army, Butters attended college at UD and had a stellar civilian career serving as a registration officer at UD in the 1980s before moving on to Washington College and Rowan University, where he was registrar.
Theodore H. Carski
Carski receive his doctorate in plant and soil sciences with an emphasis on the area of environmental soil chemistry. After graduating from UD, he joined the team at DuPont as a research chemist but rose to his current position as DuPont's Global Registration Product Manager. Carski also serves as an adjunct professor at UD.
Christopher J. Christie
Christie received his undergraduate degree in political science before graduating from Seton Hall University School of Law. After working at various law firms in New Jersey, he was appointed U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey in 2002 by President George W. Bush. On Nov. 3, 2009, Christie was elected governor of New Jersey. He attributes much of his political success to James R. Soles, UD professor emeritus of political science.
Arthur J. Coury
Coury earned a bachelor of science in chemistry from UD and also holds a doctorate in organic chemistry and MBA from the University of Minnesota. Coury held positions at General Mills, Medtronic, Focal and Genzyme Corp. He also holds more than 50 distinct patents and has been widely published in the field of polymeric biomaterials for medical products. Among his many titles and awards, Coury was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in 2009.
Jo Anne Pryor Deshon
Deshon received her bachelor's degree in elementary education from Millersville University before completing her master's and doctorate in education from UD. Since stepping into the classroom nearly 35 years ago, Deshon has been awarded more than 40 grants to bring innovation into her classroom. Along with other awards, she was one of only 87 teachers recognized at the White House for her science teaching with the 2008 Presidential Award for Excellence in mathematics and Science Teaching.
Michael S. Geltzeiler
Geltzeiler earned his bachelor of science degree in accounting from the Lerner College of Business and Economics and a master in business administration from the Stern Business School. Currently serving as chief financial officer and group executive vice president of NYSE Euronet, Geltzeiler has had a long, successful career in corporate finance. He currently serves on numerous boards, including the Lerner College of Business and Economics Advisory Board.
Bangalore T. Lakshman
Lakshman received his master's degree in civil engineering from UD after coming to the United States from India to pursue an advanced degree. Boasting a successful career at Artesian Water, Lakshman has also established numerous organizations, namely the BTL Foundation which gives back to his homeland of India and Delaware. Lakshman has received numerous awards, including the Humanitarian of the Year Award from United Way Delaware in 2007.
Margaret van Heek
Van Heek received a degree with distinction in nutrition sciences from UD and went on to receive her doctorate from Cornell University in the research field of cholesterol metabolism and cardiovascular disease. After Cornell, she worked her way up to the associate director at Schering-Plough Research Institute over a 16-year career. In 2009, she joined Merck & Co. in its newly forming external discovery and preclinical sciences department.
David F. Welch
Welch earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from UD before obtaining his doctoral degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University. He started his career as a scientist with SDL Inc. and eventually rose to chief technical officer and vice president of corporate development to negotiate six mergers and acquisitions valued at $43 billion. In 2001, Welch founded Infinera Corp. and serves as the executive vice president and chief strategy officer. He also holds 125 patents.
Established in 1983, the Alumni Wall of Fame recognizes outstanding professional and public service achievements by UD graduates. Including this year's class of honorees, there are now 229 inductees.
Article by Meredith Chapman
Photos by Ambre Alexander