Inductees September 26, 2003
Dr. Lawrence E. Skog: Bachelor of Arts – Botany 1965.
Dr. Skog is currently Curator and Research Scientist for the Smithsonian Institution, a position he has held for the past 10 years, having moved up through the curatorial ranks at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History since 1972. He has been elected to Fellowship by the Linnean Society of London and the Botanical Society of Scotland, appointed Honorary Professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing for his work on the plants of China, and has honorary memberships or served as officer in several botanical organizations in the U.S. and abroad. Dr. Skog graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 1965 with a B.A. in Botany, and then went on to receive an M.S. in Botany from the University of Connecticut in 1968 and a Ph.D. in Botany from Cornell University in 1972. Dr. Skog is the author of 129 reviewed scientific publications and has many years of international research experience resulting in three new genera and more than 20 new species of plants that he has described. At least two species of plants have been named after him.
James I. Swenson: Bachelor of Arts – Chemistry 1959.
Superior, Wisconsin native James I. Swenson completed a B.A. degree in chemistry in 1959. While a student at UMD in the late 1950’s, Mr. Swenson was one of the early participants in the chemistry undergraduate research program. Following military service, Mr. Swenson worked for several computer manufacturing companies including Honeywell and Univac. His career took him to California where he started a small printed circuit board manufacturing company. Details, Inc., became the industry leader in providing custom printed circuit boards; the company’s rapid turnaround, flexibility and high quality contributed to its remarkable success. He sold Details, Inc., in 1996. Jim and wife, Sue, have a strong commitment to the future through the education of children and young adults. The work of the Swenson Family Foundation clearly reflects this dedication and has been a powerful and enabling force in the lives of countless students.
Dr. Richard W. Ojakangas: Bachelor of Arts – Geology 1955.
Dick Ojakangas grew up in Warba, MN, attended Grand Rapids High School and then UMD. He started out as a business major, but switched after taking Introductory Geology from Professor Robert L. Heller. He graduated in 1955 with a BA in geology, after which he served in the Air Force. He came back to UMD to be an instructor before going on to receive his M.A. from the University of Missouri (1960) and his Ph.D. from Stanford (1964). He joined the faculty at UMD in 1964 and retired from ‘active duty’ in 2002. He has received numerous awards, including: Sam Goldrich Medal from the Institute on Lake Superior Geology, The Horace T. Morse Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education, an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Helsinki and the Anderson Scholar/Teacher Award from the College of Science and Engineering. Throughout his tenure in the department he has published at least 99 papers, reports, maps and books. He advised 31 Master’s students and taught thousands of undergrads. He was and still is the conscience of the department. In 1999 his Ph.D. dissertation (published in 1964) was recognized as a “classic concept in Cordilleran Geology”, a high honor. Our views of geological thinking have changed drastically since 1965; however, Dick’s work was so seminal that it is still accepted and recognized.
Robert L. Senkler: Bachelor of Arts – Mathematics 1974.
Robert Senkler is a 1974 graduate of UMD, receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics. He has been with Minnesota Life for over 25 years, starting as an actuarial trainee in the Individual Insurance Division in 1974. He became a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries in 1979 and joined Minnesota Life’s senior management team five years later as second vice president of Individual Actuarial. By 1987, he was vice president and actuary, Individual Insurance, and in 1994 he was named president and chief executive officer of Minnesota Life. One year later he was elected chairman of the board. Mr. Senkler currently participates in a variety of business and civic leadership positions in the Twin Cities, including HealthEast, the Wilder Foundation, the Carlson School of Management, and the Minnesota Orchestra. He resides in White Bear Lake with his wife Pam and two sons.
Dr. William M. Mularie: Bachelor of Arts – Physics 1961; Bachelor of Arts – Mathematics 1961.
William Mularie is currently CEO of Telework Consortium, funded by a Department of Commerce grant for development and evaluation of pilot projects for a high-bandwidth optical communication infrastructure. Prior to this, he spent five years as a government employee in Senior Executive Service, having retired from 3M in 1996 after 30 years of employment in the private sector. His government service included being Deputy Director for Science and Technology for the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, Office Director for the Information Systems Office of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and a short term in the Science and Technology Directorate of the Central Intelligence Agency. For his work with the Imagery and Mapping Agency, he received the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Award. While in the private sector, Dr. Mularie was General Manager and Director of the CAT-ARC Division of Perkin-Elmer Corporation and Vice President of VacTec Systems, and spent ten years as Director of the National Media Laboratory. Dr. Mularie received B.A. degrees in Physics and Mathematics from UMD in 1961 and his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from UM-Twin Cities in 1971.