Rensselaer Alumni Magazine - Fall 2017 - 52
From Dick Cunningham: Until March 1963, I
had planned on walking three short blocks to the
University of Wyoming to attend college. I am not
sure how I transitioned to attending RPI, sight
unseen. RPI was in NYS (I had never been east of
the Black Hills), in an old river town, on the Hudson, and in the hometown of Uncle Sam.
I did wonder how I was accepted at RPI. After
meeting classmates who had 800s on their SATs
or were taking Calculus and Physics III (like my
roommate), I concluded it wasn't because I was
smart. Dr. Folsom's welcoming speech provided
some insight when he said our class had a representative from most of the states (that included WY).
A train ride from Wyoming dropped me in the TriCities area. I arrived in downtown Troy and was
surprised that nobody there seemed to know what
or where Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute was. I
finally surmised that the red brick buildings at the
top of the hill with green tile roofing might be the
'tute. Besides the standard issue red beanie, a most
useful tool we received as a freshman was the frosh
A key decision was made at frosh registration. I
walked up to the table in the Field House and I was
asked if I was going to study architecture, engineering, or science. I inquired what the difference was
between engineering and science and was told:
Science students take either German or Russian
and Engineering students take drawing. I became
an engineering student.
So, I guess I was ready to experience four years at
RPI...And now, 54 years later, I'm looking forward
to seeing many of my classmates at our 50th.
From Dave Green: I graduated with a Bachelor of
Civil Engineering degree in 1967 and then went to
work for the New York State Dept. of Transportation in the Albany office. I received a Master's of
Transportation Engineering in 1969 from RPI
through a co-op program with NYSDOT. My primary responsibility was functioning as the "middle
man" between the engineering world and the data
processing world, which was very interesting and
challenging since computers were in their infancy
at that time in our department. My wife, Barb, and
I were married in 1969.
After 33 years, I retired in 2000 and moved to
Florida. We live in one of those 55+ communities
where almost everyone has a golf cart. I enjoy golf,
tennis, lawn bowling, and traveling-we have been
to 50 countries since retiring. I enjoy singing in the
church choir and creating Shutterfly photo albums.
I have also served on many community boards and
committees for the betterment of where we live.
We have two children and seven grandkids in NJ
and OK; we greatly enjoy our times with them.
We also truly enjoy getting together with eight
other RPI grads and their spouses who were a part
of the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship at RPI.
Seven of the nine lived together at a house on Hill
Street in 1968. Since retirement we get together
every two to three years; we will have our 50th
anniversary next year in the Capital District area.
From Ken Neu: After getting my master's at RPI
in 1968 I went to work for Raytheon, Space &
Information Systems Division, in Sudbury, Mass.
A year later, 8/11/1969, I became an FBI agent. For
the next 33 years I moved around in different positions and locations, retiring at the end of November 2002, from FBIHQ in WDC as assistant chief
of the FBI's Violent Crimes and Major Offenders
Program. Thereafter, for a couple of years I worked
for the Gavin Group auditing the various Catholic Dioceses around the U.S. for compliance with
the Child Protection Charter adopted by the U.S.
Conference of Catholic Bishops. I retired permanently in 2005 and focused on building a house
in Florida to which my wife and I moved in April
2006. I have been active in a number of organizations since that time to include the Greater Daytona Beach Chapter of the Society of Former Special
Agents of the FBI (SFSAFBI). In June 2016, I was
elected to the executive board of the SFSAFBI as
national secretary and officially assumed the position in late August.
Southern Vermont College honored award-winning, former IBM executive Nicholas Donofrio at
the College's 90th Commencement in May. Nick
is a 44-year IBM veteran who, as executive vice
president of innovation and technology, helped
steward the company through periods of tremendous change and growth. In 2008 he was selected
by the chairman to become an IBM Fellow, the
company's highest technical honor. -Stu Berg
In May, Don Downer '56, retired guided missile
systems engineer at Johns Hopkins Applied
Physics Laboratory and Marine Corps veteran,
sent his 3,000th care package, filled with
cookies, Twizzlers, tuna, and Spam, to troops
in Afghanistan, an effort he began in 2009.
52 RensselaeR/Fall 2017
50th Reunion: September 2018 Classmate Larry
Kagan's steel sculptures were exhibited at the Titelman Gallery of the Vero Beach Museum of Arts
in Florida last spring. He calls his works on exhibit
object/shadow art, which combines the mass of
traditional sculpture with the silhouette of shadow
art. Object/shadow art uses strong lighting at specific angles to illuminate an abstract metal sculpture that creates a shadow image that is very different from the visual shape of the sculpture.
Larry says the shadows are "...inseparable from the
objects that cast them." He started working with
steel sculptures after he saw the raw creative potential in the range of lines and textures that the steel
fragments acquire over time as they break, bend,
and rust. Larry has studied printmaking, etching,
lithography, and acrylic sculpture, and combines
his love of drawing with his new love for mangled
steel shapes in the object/shadow artworks.
In April President Trump was hosted by Nick Pinchuk at Snap-on Inc. headquarters in Wisconsin,
where Nick is the CEO and chairman. The visit of
the president and his signing of an executive order
for "Buy American" and "Hire American" policies
were to highlight the essential nature of American
manufacturing to our nation's economic future.
Snap-on is a well-known supplier of professional
grade tools and equipment and provided an American flag background made up of red, white, and
blue wrenches for the president. Nick has actively
supported and promoted programs that emphasize the importance of domestic manufacturing
for many years. In addition to his personal efforts,
Snap-on is a corporate sponsor of the Manufacturing Innovation and Learning Laboratory at RPI.
-Mal Crawford '68; K1MC-Mal@earthlink.net
Send me your updates so that we can share your
news in the next edition of Rensselaer magazine.
-Henry Scheuer '69, firstname.lastname@example.org
First things first, classmate Stephen Valentine
has created an RPI Class of '70 Facebook page.
Definitely join the group. As of May 15, there were
already 40 members. Stephen and others have put
Adam Oates '85 was named one of the top 100 greatest
players in National Hockey League history. In celebration
of its centennial season in 2017, the NHL announced in
January its list of the 100 greatest players ever to play
the game. Oates was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame
in 2012, the only Rensselaer alumnus so honored.
Cheryl Porro '93, senior
vice president, technology
and products, at
Casey Edgeton '06,
designer at the
health care startup Forward,
were named two of the 43 most
powerful female engineers for
2017 by Business Insider.