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NEWS
Pat Artis Named Distinguished Alumnus
May 20, 2008

Pat Artis, engineering science and mechanics graduate, has been named a Virginia Tech College of Engineering distinguished alumnus.

When Pat Artis was a youngster, he built and launched a rocket, promptly blowing a hole in the family’s truck window. His unlikely cohort in the crime – his father – shielded him by telling Pat’s mother that a rock hit the vehicle. The teenager continued tinkering with rockets and eventually won a research and development award from the National Association of Rocketry.

Rocketry remains his favorite pastime, but the 1971 graduate of Virginia Tech’s Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics is a designer of more lucrative endeavors. He and his wife, Nancy, started Performance Associates Inc. (PAI) in 1986, covering a huge niche in the complex world of information technology.

Mr. Artis serves on the College of Engineering’s Campaign Steering Committee, and he is the incoming chair of the College Advisory Board.

The Artis’ have committed approximately $10 million in bequests to the engineering science and mechanics and aerospace and ocean engineering departments at Virginia Tech. For three years, they also funded the Engineering Excellence in the 21st Century series, sponsored by Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering and the engineering science and mechanics department. The Artis’, in their mid-50s, have also financed the activities of the space elevator student design team in a competition to design a structure to transport material from the earth’s surface into space. They also support two engineering students annually at the National Test Pilot School.


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