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Past Recipients


1999 Alumni Award Recipients

Alumni Service Award

Mr. Robert G David

Mr. William B Larson

Mr. Paul L Peoples


Distinguished Alumni Award

Dr. William Breit Ph.D.

Noted author and scholar William Breit is the E.M. Stevens Distinguished Professor of Economics at Trinity University and is an adjunct scholar at America Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. Previous appointments include positions at the University of Virginia, Louisiana State University and MSU, where he received his doctorate of economics in 1961. Breit has served as editor for a number of professional journals, including the Social Science Quarterly, the Journal of Economic Issues, Research in the History of Economics, and the International Social Science Review. He was a co-editor with Kenneth G. Elzinga, of the 'Political Economy and Public Policy: an International Series of Monographs in Law and Economics, History of Economic Thought and Public Finance.' He has also authored many notable publications including an article on market for the Encyclopedia International. His awards and recognitions include sharing with Elzinga the 1977 Phi Beta Kappa Book Prize for 'The Antitrust Penalties: A Study in the Law and Economics.' He was also recognized as a Sesquicentennial Associate, Center for Advanced Studies, University of Virginia; a senior research associate, Thomas Jefferson Center for Political Economy at the University of Virginia.

Mr. James Milton Cornelius

Dr. Bernard Carlyle Easterday D.V.M.

Dr. Kenneth Gerald Elzinga Ph.D.

Kenneth G. Elzinga has been a professor of economics at the University of Virginia since 1974. Previous appointments have included the Cavalier's Distinguished Teaching Professorship at the University of Virginia; a Thomas Jefferson Fellow at Cambridge University; Trinity University; University of Chicago and as a special economic adviser to the assistant attorney general, Antitrust Division in the U.S. Department of Justice. Elzinga shared with William Breit the Phi Beta Kappa Prize for 'The Antitrust Penalties: A Study in the Law and Economics.' He also has written and edited many articles for professional journals including the Social Science Quarterly, the Antitrust Law & Economics Review, the Journal of Law and Economics and the Harvard Law Review. He is the author of several books, including 'Economics: A Reader and Murder at the Margin,' a mystery novel. He and Breit created this mystery novel in which the protagonist uses economic analysis to solve the crime. Elzinga, who received his master's degree in 1966 and his doctorate in economics in 1967, both from MSU, is the recipient of the Templeton Honor Roll Award for Education in a Free Society from the John Templeton Foundation. He is also the recipient of the Kenan Enterprise Award for Teaching Economics from the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust; the Phi Eta Sigma Teacher of the Year Award in 1992; and the Distinguished Professor Award from the University of Virginia in 1979.

Mr. John L Hesse

Mr. Rick Inatome

Rick Inatome, chairman of Inacom Corp., a Fortune 500 company, has been instrumental in his company's growth into a major information systems provider. In 1989 he founded Computer City, one of the country's leading computer superstore chains. The venture capital firm Inatome founded has invested resources and technology into creating market leaders in industries including entertainment and media, automotive retailing, and printing and communications services. In 1993 he became principal shareholder and co-chairperson of American Speedy Printing Centers, Inc., one of the nation's largest quick-printing chains. He is chairperson of Liberty Business and Industrial Development Corp., Michigan's largest BIDCO, which has provided more than $450 million of growth capital to Michigan entrepreneurs. He is also a principle of II Ventures, venture capitalists; and co-president of Michigan Future Inc., a think tank of Michigan industrial leaders helping to advance a progressive vision of Michigan's economic future. Inatome, who received his bachelor's degree in business economics from MSU in 1976, was appointed by Gov. John Engler to the Michigan Jobs Commission Board and to chair the advisory board of the Michigan Information Network, which enables Michigan infrastructure to access global information.

Mr. Chosei Kiyosh Kabira

A career in broadcasting led to Chosei Kabira's current position as professor and vice president of liberal arts and member of the Board of Trustees of Showa Women's University in Tokyo, Japan. His many professional accomplishments include leadership positions with the Okinawa Public Broadcasting System, Inc., and the Japan Broadcasting Corporation. He has been instrumental in the leadership as executive secretary of the Hoso Bunka Foundation, the Cultural Foundation for Broadcasting. He has also served as instructor for Broadcasting Management Seminar, Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, with the government of Japan. Kabira, who received his bachelor's degree in 1956 and a master's degree in communications in 1960, has published articles in professional journals about the broadcast industry and international communications issues. His many awards and honors include the Distinguished Alumni Award, College of Communication Arts and Sciences at MSU. He is a founder and past president of the MSU Alumni Association of Japan.

Ambassador John C Kornblum

John C. Kornblum has served as U.S. ambassador to Germany since 1997. Over the past three decades he has been the U.S. State Department's leading European specialist, having served in Hamburg and twice in Berlin, the second time as U.S. minister and deputy commandant in 1985. Both Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush have recognized his skills as a negotiator and his desire to promote peace. In 1991 President Bush named Kornblum as the top American at the 1992 Helsinki Review Conference. In 1996 President Clinton named him assistant secretary of state for European and Canadian affairs and special envoy to Bosnia. For his outstanding service on the Balkan crisis, Kornblum won the Secretary's Award in 1996 and was name an honorary citizen of Sarajevo in 1997. Kornblum received his bachelor of arts degree in history from MSU in 1964.

Mr. Richard Leslie-Michael Lord

Richard Lord is an engineer, administrator and consultant specializing in immigration adjudication, and his professional experience includes serving as a member of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada in Montreal, Quebec. Lord was principal consultant for Richard Lord International Immigration Consultants, Inc. At one time he was president of Canafric Development Corporation Ltd., promoting Canadian engineering in Africa. His humanitarian involvement includes leadership roles at the Vanier Institute of the Family, the National Family Institute of Canada, and serving as a research consultant and community liaison officer for the special Senate Committee on Poverty. His professional affiliations include membership in the order of Engineers of Quebec, the MSU Chemical Engineering Alumni Board and the MSU Varsity Alumni Association. His honors and awards include the Service to the Community Award from the Royal Canadian Legion Hospital in Montreal. He received his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering in 1953.

Dr. Donald Winston Maine

Dr. Donald Maine received a BA from MSU's College of Education in 1965 and his MA in 1972. He served as chancellor of Davenport College (now University) for nearly a quarter of a century. During this time, Maine spearheaded the growth of Davenport as it transitioned from a two-year college to a graduate level university, becoming one of the first universities in the country to offer online undergraduate and graduate degree completion programs, plus several MBA programs. Maine has been an important voice and contributor to West Michigan's rapidly emerging health and medical community. In addition, he's served on boards for the Van Andel Institute, the Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center, Opera Grand Rapids, the Van Andel Public Museum, the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, the Grand Rapids Economic Club, the Van Andel Institute, and Grand Action. In 1999, Maine received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the MSU Alumni Association. In 2016, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities. Maine and his wife, Kathleen, also served as leaders for the development of the Secchia Center in Grand Rapids, helping to secure over $40 million in funding. His commitment to academics and student growth represent Maine's strong feeling that it is important to give back to MSU, as it started him on a lifelong successful career path. They have made numerous generous contributions to the university because they believe in the outstanding future of MSU as a global leader. Additionally, the Maines currently serve as volunteers for MSU's Empower Extraordinary campaign.

Mr. William H Morgan

William H. Morgan is the senior executive vice president of Elias Brothers Restaurant and Big Boy International and a member of the Elias Brothers board of directors. He joined the company in 1954, after serving in the U.S. Army. He worked his way from the kitchen to the executive offices, serving in every capacity of the restaurant business. He was the company's director of personnel for 17 years. He is involved in the Big Boy Restaurant Franchise System, the parent company to more than 700 Big Boy Restaurants worldwide, as well as numerous stadium contracts. Morgan's community involvement includes serving as founding director of the NCAA-sanctioned Cherry Bowl Football game and as a charter member of Detroit's new Motor City Bowl Committee. He was instrumental in bringing the 1982 NFL Super Bowl game to the Silverdome. He is past president of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and of the Clinton Valley Council of Boy Scouts of America.Morgan, who earned his bachelor's degree in social science from MSU in 1952, received the Michigan Restaurant Association Distinguished Service Award in 1998 and served as a director and vice president of the Michigan Restaurant Association.

Ms. Lynn C Myers

Dr. Cathy Oberg Blight M.D.

Cathy Oberg Blight has been the director of pathology for Hurley Medical Center since 1977. She is also the chief deputy medical examiner for Genesee County. Still associated with MSU, she serves as an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Pathology in the College of Human Medicine. Blight received three degrees from MSU - a bachelor's degree in 1971, a master's degree in 1973 and a doctor of medicine degree in 1977.She has served in leadership roles on the boards of directors for the Genesee County Humane Society, the Michigan Hospice Organization, the United Way of Genesee and Lapeer counties, the MSU Development Fund and the Flint Area Health Coalition. She is the immediate past president of the Michigan State Medical Society and has held active leadership positions with the Michigan Society of Pathologists, serving as president from 1990-91. She is also involved with the American College of Pathologists and the American Medical Association.

Dr. Donald Craig Sawyer D.V.M.

Donald C. Sawyer is the president of Donald Sawyer Education Services, Inc. An MSU professor emeritus since 1977, he has held many positions with the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine, including adjunct professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, coordinator of outreach, Chief Anesthesia Section, professor of anesthesia, acting assistant dean and professor of small animal surgery and medicine. He received his bachelor's degree in 1959 and a doctorate in veterinary medicine in 1961. His research interests include studies in subacute toxicity, anesthesiology and other studies for the relief of pain and suffering in animals. In 1989 he went to Alaska to help recover sea otters injured during the Exxon Valdez oil spill and received worldwide recognition for his efforts. Following this experience he wrote extensively on his experiences and lectured on disaster medicine. He has written or presented many professional journal articles and research papers in his areas of expertise. Sawyer's awards include the MSU Distinguished Veterinary Alumnus Award in 1992, the American College of Veterinary Medicine Anesthesiologists Founders Award, the Merck Agvet Award for Creativity, the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners Founding Fathers Award and the Award of Appreciation from the Michigan Veterinary Medical Association.

Mr. John Tarrell Scott

Since 1965 John T. Scott has been a member of the Xavier University of Louisiana art department where he is currently professor of fine arts. His teaching areas include sculpture, modeling, wood and stone carving, and calligraphy. An accomplished artist, Scott has many commissioned art works and has had exhibits in galleries in New Orleans, Atlanta and Santa Fe. He has held recent exhibitions at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans, the Kansas City Jazz Museum, Kennedy Center Library in Washington, D. C., and the Smithsonian Institute Traveling Exhibition in Washington, D.C. He has been a visiting artist and teacher at numerous colleges and universities including Indiana University of Pennsylvania, the University of Georgia, Arizona State University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Massachusetts, Howard University and the Washington Project for the Arts in Washington, D.C. Scott has also published works in Art in America, Artweek, the New Orleans Art Review, Art News, and other professional and popular magazines and journals. He received his master's of fine arts degree in arts and letters from MSU in 1965.

The Honorable Peter Finley Secchia

Peter Secchia entered Michigan State University after serving three years in the United States Marine Corps. He graduated in 1963 with a bachelor's degree in Economics. The following year he married Joan Peterson (1964, Elementary Education). They raised a family of four in Grand Rapids; Joan taught school while Peter began a successful business career, highlighted by numerous corporate chairmanships. Peter was appointed the United States Ambassador to Italy from 1989 1993. Francesco Cossiga, former President of the Republic of Italy, called Secchia 'the best U.S. ambassador to Italy I have ever known.' Joan has served on various philanthropic and organization boards within the United States and abroad. Both have extensive board and trustee experience spanning more than half a century. Their accomplishments on behalf of the Michigan State University community are astounding. Recently, their $3 million gift endowed the defensive coordinator position for football. Over time, this endowment will prove just as invaluable as the existing Spartan Football Secchia Travel Fund for recruiting purposes. Peter and Joan also gave the lead gift to build the Secchia Stadium on Old College Field to support the softball program. Additionally, Peter co-chaired the fundraising campaign for the Clara Bell Smith Academic Center. The Secchias were visionary community champions of moving the College of Human Medicine to its current Grand Rapids location. They donated much of their time and also their financial support to the College of Human Medicine campus in Grand Rapids and its centerpiece, the Secchia Center. The new location and facilities give the college access to top-tier talent, a broad community base and the proximity for building strong partnerships with medical, research and economic resources. Among a plethora of memberships and board positions, Peter currently serves on the Athletic Director's Campaign Leadership Council and Joan is on the College of Education Campaign Committee. In these positions, they provide philanthropic leadership as well as valuable input and support for MSU programs. Both are honorary chairs of President Simon's Cabinet for Empower Extraordinary, the campaign for MSU. Taking a stroll around campus, one can see the tremendous impact the Secchias have had. Between their service and philanthropic leadership, Peter and Joan Secchia have made a profound difference in the story of Michigan State University.

Dr. Surat Silpa-anan Ph.D.

Since 1997 Surat Silpa-Anan has served Thailand as a senator in the National Parliament's House of Senate and is currently the chairperson of the Thailand Education Reform Committee. Prior to this position he was permanent secretary in the Thailand's Ministry of Education. A lifelong educator, he has served his country as a teacher, director and member of the Teachers' Civil Service Commission. Since 1975 he has been a member of several other government posts with Thailand's Ministry of Education. Silpa-Anan, who received his doctoral degree in education from MSU in 1972, has championed many causes in education. These include the establishment of 58 public libraries, as well as the establishment of the Sirinthorn Institute for Continuing and Development Education, and the establishment of the Center of Vocational Training for broader areas around Thailand. He served as chairperson for the committee on the amendment of the Teachers' Civil Service Act.

Dr. Fred C Tinning Ph.D.

Fred C. Tinning is the president emeritus of the College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Mo., where he served as president for 12 years. Prior to that appointment he was the assistant dean for planning and program operations at the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine. He served in other administrative and teaching positions at MSU, including professor in the Department of Counseling, Personnel Services and Educational Psychology in the College of Education. Tinning was a member of the advisory panel to the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessments for the Rural Health Care Study and has had international consulting experiences with the University Center for International Rehabilitation, a federal center established at MSU by the U.S. Congress. He served on a special task force to study medical school cost as the vice chairperson for the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Science Model, and as a representative for the Senate Fiscal Agency. He was appointed to the Governor's Planning Systems for Michigan in 1966. He was appointed by the governor of Missouri to serve on several task forces and commissions. Tinning received three degrees from MSU - his bachelors in 1959, his master's in 1961 and his doctorate in philosophy in 1973. The City of Kirksville, Mo., proclaimed Oct. 10, 1997, as Dr. Fred C. Tinning Day. He has also received numerous honors from his colleagues and the Missouri Senate and House of Representatives.

Dr. Shirley Ann Weis

Shirley A. Weis is the chairperson of the Department of Managed Care for the Mayo Foundation. Prior to this appointment she held other management positions at Mayo Foundation and Mayo Management Services where she directed all activities for HMO, TPA and medical management services for 115,000 individuals. Until August 1995 she was the chief operating officer for the Blue Care Network-Health Central in Michigan. She served as manager of the energy department and outpatient services and emergency room nursing and supervision. She also has taught management courses for health care professionals. Her professional affiliations include membership on the Minnesota Council of Health Plans; Minnesota Regional C. Coordinating Board, Region 6; the Lansing Community College Foundation; the HMO Association of Michigan; the American Association of Health Plans; and the American Managed Care and Review Association. She received her bachelor's degree in nursing from MSU in 1975.

Dr. Paul Theodore Werner M.D.


Honorary Alumni Award

Mrs. Amelia E Musser

Mr. R Daniel Musser