Rensselaer Alumni Magazine - Fall 2017 - 6
Luanne McGovern '82
Morristown, New Jersey
Donald McGovern, having the highest grades in math and science in his class, was
awarded the Rensselaer Medal at his high school graduation ceremony in 1942.
6 rensseLaer/FaLL 2017
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ued in the coursework for several Armored ended their tour with ed home to his widowed mother
months, with his dream of becom- VE-Day in Salzburg and helped and grandmother in upstate
ing an engineer now seeming like liberate the Dachau concentra- New York. With a family to supa real possibility.
port, his dreams of becoming
But once again, the country
They shipped back to the USA an engineer were ended, but he
called-D-Day was approaching. in July 1945, ready to head to always dreamed of going to
The engineering program
RPI and finishing his
was canceled and he was
education. He married
I graduated from RPI in 1982, exactly 40 years
off to Camp Campbell,
my mother and had
after my father received his medal, and he was
Kentucky, for final invafive children, and they
there to see me receive my diploma in chemical
sion training with the
will be celebrating their
engineering. I have continued to work in the
20th Armored Division.
66th wedding anniverengineering field for the past 35 years.
They sailed for France
sary this year.
aboard the SS Brazil in
Fast-forward 32 years.
January 1945 and landed 14 days the West Coast and then to the I was getting my high school
later at Le Havre. They quickly invasion of Japan. They landed in degree in the same Dansville high
loaded their tanks and chased New York Harbor on August 6, school my father attended, and I
the Germans through France, 1945-the day the atomic bomb
decided to attend RPI. He always
Belgium, Luxembourg, and down fell on Hiroshima. Soon after, my reminds me of going to the camthrough Germany. The 20th father was discharged and head- pus and interviewing with the
dean, wanting to show off his RPI
medal. Being 17 years old, I was
terribly embarrassed and begged
him not to bring it ...
I graduated from RPI in 1982,
exactly 40 years after my father
received his medal, and he was
there to see me receive my diploma in chemical engineering. I
have continued to work in the
engineering field for the past 35
years, now director of corporate
engineering at FMC Corporation.
I am attaching a recent picture
of my father at 92 years old, with
his RPI medal and his WWII veteran hat. He may not have been
able to fulfill his personal dream
of becoming an engineer, but he
has supported me and my dreams
all along the way.
Letting Us Know!
Karl Petersen '64 reached
out to Rensselaer magazine
to identify his Acacia fraternity brother Edward Segrist
Jr. '63, who was shown
(but not identified) in the
article "In the Beginning:
Computing at Rensselaer"
in the Spring 2017 issue.
Segrist is pictured at
Rensselaer's first digital
computer, the IBM 650.
According to Petersen,
"Ed was a Navy ROTC
Regular, Acacia fraternity
officer, and White Key
inductee. He opted for the
nuclear engineering training
after receiving his B.S. in
physics and had a stellar
career in the Navy. His
friends knew he would go
to the top in research
or business, but Admiral
Rickover won him over
to the nuclear fleet. His
friends also appreciated his
in whistling and wondered
how that would go over in