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New 2011 Academy Members Inducted, Young Alumna Honored
June 8, 2011

Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering inducted eight new members into its Academy of Engineering Excellence, an elite group that now consists of only 105 people out of its more than fifty-five thousand living alumni.

Pictured are the new members of the Academy of Engineering Excellence and the Outstanding Young Alumna. From left to right, are: Laurie McNeill, outstanding young alumna; Richard Benson, dean of Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering, who presented the awards; Don Powers, of Lynchburg, Va.; Don Pemberton, of Hague, Va.; Charles Harris of Poquoson, Va.; Art McKinney, of Beaverdam, Va.; Paul Barbery, of Bluefield, Va.; Warner Robins, of Yorktown, Va.; John White, of Fayetteville, Ark.; and Charles Gordon, of Johnson City, Tenn.

The Academy of Engineering Excellence was founded in 1999 by F. William Stephenson, past dean of the college of engineering, and by the college’s Alumni Advisory Board. This year marked the 12th anniversary of the first induction. In 2009, the college produced a book on the first 90 inductees, called “In the Land Grant Tradition: Reaching the Pinnacles,” that is available at the University Bookstore.

This academy and the college’s published book “represents another way the College of Engineering has selected to showcase our loyal ambassadors. These alumni all represent people who have lived their lives representing the spirit of Ut Prosim, Virginia Tech’s motto, meaning that I may serve,” said Richard C. Benson, dean of the College of Engineering and the holder of the Paul and Dorothea Torgersen Chair of Engineering.

The 2011 academy inductees are: Paul Barbery, of Bluefield, Va., and formerly of Mooresville, N.C., Class of 1959, mining engineering; Charles O. Gordon, Jr., of Johnson City, Tenn., Class of 1969, industrial engineering; Charles E. Harris, of Poquoson, Va., Class of 1972, aerospace engineering, and Class of 1972 and 1983, master’s and doctorate, respectively, in engineering science and mechanics; Art McKinney of Beaverdam, Va., Class of 1966, architectural engineering; Don Pemberton of Hague, Va., Class of 1956, electrical engineering; Don M. Powers of Lynchburg, Va., Class of 1959, electrical engineering; A. Warner Robins of Yorktown, Va., Class of 1949, aeronautical engineering; and John A. White, Jr., of Fayetteville, Ariz., Class of 1966, industrial engineering.

Also honored at the event was Laurie McNeill of Logan, Utah, who received the College of Engineering’s Outstanding Young Alumna Award for 2011.

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