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May 19, 2014

Purdue awards honorary doctorates during spring commencement

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University awarded 13 honorary doctorate degrees during spring commencement ceremonies at the West Lafayette campus in May.

The degrees were presented during ceremonies May 16-18 in the Elliott Hall of Music.

The 2014 honorees include:

Jonathan W. Amy, of Lafayette, Indiana, whose doctoral degree work in the mid-1950s resulted in the formal creation of Purdue's Chemistry Instrumentation Facility, with a mission of fusing science and technology through collaboration and creation. The lab is named the Jonathan Amy Instrumentation Facility, and some 60 years later, the mission has expanded to include much of the university. The Industrial Associates Program, originated within chemistry, provided a way of involving students with industry and for industrial representatives to spend time at Purdue. Amy received a doctor of science degree on May 18.

The late John R. Carnaghi, a longtime Purdue administrator before he joined Florida State University as senior vice president for finance and administration, a position he held for 21 years. He also served as vice chancellor for financial affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne from 1980-90. Carnaghi died in February 2013, and a posthumous doctor of education degree was awarded May 16.

Andrew M. Dahlem, of Indianapolis, vice president and chief operating officer for Lilly Research Laboratories and Lilly Research Laboratories Europe. He had previously served as vice president of toxicology, drug disposition, pharmacokinetics, and Lilly Research Laboratories in Europe and is a member of Lilly senior management. He serves as adjunct professor of toxicology in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Purdue, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and at Ohio State University. Dahlem received a doctor of veterinary medicine degree May 17.

Don K. Gentry, of West Lafayette, Ind., who spent 26 years at Purdue as a faculty member and administrator before retiring. He was the first director of the Purdue Statewide Technology Program, professor of industrial technology, and assistant and associate dean of the College of Technology. In 1987, he was appointed dean of the College of Technology, where he served for 14 years, growing the school to one of the largest of its kind in the nation. He was vice provost for engagement, creating the Office of Engagement to provide leadership for the university's outreach and engagement functions. In partial retirement, he administered several grant projects as a special assistant to the provost. Gentry received a doctor of technology degree May 18.

Willis J. Harper, of Columbus, Ohio, who retired last August as J.T. Parker Chair in Dairy Foods for the Department of Food Science and Technology at Ohio State University. Upon the completion of his doctoral degree in 1949, he joined the Ohio State Dairy Technology Department as an assistant professor and rose through the ranks. The department combined with the university's Institute of Nutrition to become the Department of Food Science and Nutrition in 1971, and he developed all the non-dairy technology courses, taught and conducted a research program. He retired from Ohio State in 1981 to join the New Zealand Dairy Research Institute to head up a group of researchers that developed a whey protein concentrate program, with technology that still brings in more than a billion dollars a year to New Zealand before returning to OSU. He received a doctor of agriculture degree May 17.

Judith Monroe, M.D., of Atlanta, deputy director for state, tribal, local, and territorial support efforts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and director of the CDC's Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support. Under her leadership, the CDC's Public Health Associate Program has grown from being a pilot program in just one state to a national program aimed at building an experienced public health workforce. Monroe was Indiana Health Commissioner from 2005-10, before taking her role with the CDC. She led Indiana through the 2009 H1N1 pandemic and partnered with Purdue University in the design of the Public Health System Quality Improvement Project to strengthen local public health capacity and performance. Monroe received a doctor of health and human sciences degree May 17.

Mamon Powers Jr., of Valparaiso, Ind., president of Powers and Sons Construction and former Purdue trustee. He began his career as a civil engineer with the American Oil Co. (AMOCO) and then joined his father, Mamon Powers Sr., at Powers and Sons in 1971. He served as the company's secretary and treasurer until he was named president in 1987. In recognition of his professional achievements, he was inducted into the Times BusINess & Industry Hall of Fame in 2007. He was appointed in 1996 as a Purdue trustee and served until July 2011. Powers received a doctor of engineering degree May 18.

Thomas H. Scholl, of Bethesda, Md., an entrepreneur, technology innovator and investor. He has been directly involved in more than 40 startups with differing roles including founder, chairman, CEO, board member and investor. Most recently, he was venture partner at Novak Biddle Venture Partners in Bethesda. He has six patents relating to software, the Internet, and digital telephone systems, and he is the author of "Packet Switching" in McGraw Hill's "Electronic Communications Handbook." Scholl received his doctor of letters May 16.

Scott P. Serota, of Chicago, president and CEO of The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, a national federation of 37 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. He was named BCBSA president and CEO in 2000 after serving four years as a senior executive, including two years as chief operating officer. He was appointed by President George W. Bush to the policy committee of the White House Conference on Aging - advising the administration and congress on policies, programs and services affecting the nation’s older citizens - and served as chairman of the Subcommittee on Health. He is a frequent featured speaker at leading business and industry forums. Serota received a doctor of science degree May 18.

Venu Srinivasan, of Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, chairman of Sundaram Clayton Group, which includes TVS Motor Co., one of India's leading two-wheeler manufacturers. The company also manufactures automotive components in India. Under Srinivasan's leadership, Sundaram Clayton Limited was awarded the Deming Prize in 1998 by the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers and the Japanese Quality Medal in 2002. TVS Motor Co. received the Deming Prize the same year. He is also a member of both the Prime Minister's Scientific Advisory Council and the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council, and is chairman of India's National Safety Council. Srinivasan received a doctor of management degree May 17.

Ralph Weiger of Prescott, Arizona, president and vice chairman of Jiffy Lube before retiring. He was president and CEO of Midas International Corp., and other companies owned by IC of Chicago, and was leader of the International Franchise Association in Washington, D.C. He was presented the Hall of Fame Award in 2002 by President George W. Bush from among 1,200 member companies and continues as a consultant with the Moneco Group. He founded the Arizona Transplant House Foundation at the Mayo Clinic in 1997. Weiger received a doctor of engineering degree May 18.

David Wolf, M.D., of Indianapolis, a 28-year NASA veteran and astronaut who has spent 168 days in space and conducted seven spacewalks over four separate missions, including space Shuttles Columbia, Atlantis, Discovery, and Endeavor, as well as the International Space Station, Russian Space Station MIR, and Spacelab. Before being selected as an astronaut, he led teams producing medical research instrumentation for spaceflight including novel state-of-the-art technology for three-dimensional tissue engineering. A medical doctor, electrical engineer, and inventor, he has been awarded 17 U.S. patents, received the NASA Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal, and was named the NASA Inventor of the Year. He received a doctor of engineering degree May 18.

Guo-Ping Zhao, of Shanghai, China, a molecular microbiologist who has been working on microbial molecular physiology and metabolic regulation since 1982. He is director of the CAS-Key Laboratory of Synthetic Biology at the Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He also is director of the Department of Microbiology and Microbial Engineering and the Center for Synthetic Biology at the School of Life Sciences, Fudan University. He received his doctor of agriculture degree May 17. 

Writer: Jim Bush, 765-494-2077, jsbush@purdue.edu 

Source: Barbara Leonard, bhleonard@purdue.edu