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Class Notes Features

Rensselaer Reunion 2006: Izzy Warshaw ’23 at age 104.5, celebrated his 83rd Reunion on campus in June, leading the Parade of Classes and granting his first dance to President Shirley Ann Jackson.

Robert Loewy ’47 Awarded Guggenheim Medal

Robert Loewy, the William R.T. Oakes professor and chair of the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Tech, has received one of the most prestigious awards in aeronautics — the Daniel Guggenheim Medal.

The Daniel Guggenheim Medal was established in 1929 for the purpose of honoring persons who make notable achievements in the advancement of aeronautics. Its first recipient was aviation pioneer Orville Wright. Past recipients include Donald Douglas, Charles Stark Draper, Robert Goddard, Charles Lindbergh, Igor Sikorsky, Hugh Dryden, and William Boeing.

The Guggenheim Medal is jointly sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME), the American Helicopter Society (AHS), and the Society of Automotive Engineers.

Loewy, former professor and director of the Rotorcraft Technology Center at Rensselaer, has served as chair of Georgia Tech’s School of Aerospace Engineering since 1993. He has served on numerous NASA committees and on several boards of the National Research Council and other government committees.

Loewy received NASA’s Distinguished Public Service Medal in 1983 and has also been awarded the Spirit of St. Louis Medal from ASME and the Lawrence A. Sperry Award and the Dryden Lecturer from the AIAA. He was named an Honorary Fellow and Nikolsky Lecturer by the AHS.


Howard Blitman ’50 Honored for Distinguished Service

The Rensselaer Alumni Association awarded its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, to Howard Blitman ’50 at the RAA Awards Dinner June 9. Blitman is president and CEO of the Blitman Building Corp.

“Howard is the quintessential Rensselaer engineer,” said President Shirley Ann Jackson in presenting the award. “He built a career at the pinnacle of professional engineering. He built a resume long on service to his profession and his communities. He built a lifelong connection with his alma mater.”

Blitman has served as deputy mayor and planning board chairman in the Village of Scarsdale, N.Y. He has been active in professional societies, and established the Maureen L. and Howard N. Blitman, P.E., Scholarship to Promote Diversity in Engineering, given through the NSPE Education Foundation.

At Rensselaer he is a longtime supporter and volunteer for the Annual Fund and has served on a variety of committees across campus, currently chairing the Civil Engineering Advisory Board. A member of the Stephen Van Rensselaer Society of Patroons, he established the Howard N. Blitman ’50, P.E., Career Development Professor in Engineering.

“Fifty years and more I’ve loved being an engineer, and I owe so much to Rensselaer,” said Blitman, on accepting the award. “I’m extremely proud to be an engineer. I’ve always done the best I could for my profession and my community.”


Demers Medalists: President Shirley Ann Jackson congratulates Dennis Powers ’63, left, and Stuart Benton ’62, who were awarded Demers Medals at the Rensselaer Alumni Association Awards Dinner held on campus June 9. The Demers Medal, the second highest honor given by the association, was established in 1942 to recognize and stimulate interest in the welfare of the Institute by either alumni or friends. Also honored with Demers Medals but unable to attend were Nicholas Donofrio ’67 and Sean O’Sullivan ’85.

Lewis Kling ’66 Receives Marco Polo Award

Lewis Kling, president and CEO of Flowserve Corp., was the recipient of the 2006 Marco Polo Award, considered the highest honor given by the Chinese government to a foreign business leader.

Presented annually by China’s State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, the China Association for International Exchange of Personnel, and the U.S.-China Foundation for International Exchanges, the award recognizes foreign business leaders who play a significant role in China’s economic development and who demonstrate a commitment to improving Chinese society by sponsoring volunteer experts for humanitarian assignments.

“This special award, established by both China and the United States, was created to demonstrate appreciation to the ‘friends and ambassadors to China,’ who like Marco Polo have made excellent contributions in communication and exchanges between the East and the West,” said Zhang Jianguo, deputy director general of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs.

Previous recipients of the Marco Polo Award include former U.S. President George H.W. Bush and the chief executive officers of such companies as CSX, Johnson & Johnson, Ford Motor Co., Kodak, Merrill Lynch, Merck, Medtronic, and Hearst Magazines International.

Flowserve Corp. operates in 56 countries, producing engineered and industrial pumps, seals, and valves, as well as a range of related flow management services.


David Youlen ’74 Leads Hydropower Group

David Youlen was installed as president of the National Hydropower Association (NHA) for 2006-2007 in April. Youlen is the vice president, New York operations, for Brookfield Power in Liverpool, N.Y.

The NHA is the United States’ only trade association exclusively dedicated to advancing the hydropower industry. Youlen said among the key objectives of his NHA presidency is the opportunity to expand hydropower to better serve the United States’ future domestic clean energy needs.

In addition to more than 30 years in the hydro industry, Youlen has experience in electric substations, transmission, and electric system operations. He earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at Rensselaer and is a New York state licensed professional engineer. He serves on the board of directors of the Independent Power Producers of New York and the National History Museum of the Adirondacks.


Patrick DeMeo ’81 Leads Orthopaedic Surgery at Allegheny General Hospital

Patrick DeMeo ’81, M.D., was named chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Allegheny General Hospital (AGH) in Pittsburgh, Pa., in June. DeMeo has served in a number of key clinical positions at AGH since he became a member of the medical staff in 1993, including director of the Division of Sports Medicine.

“By accepting this position, I’m following in the footsteps of Dr. James McMaster, a pioneer in the area of orthopaedic surgery, which is a great honor for me,” said DeMeo.

DeMeo is the head of medical care for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He also has served as medical director of the NCAA’s Men’s and Women’s Basketball Regional Final 4, the City of Pittsburgh’s Great Race, and as team physician for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He was recognized as 2002 Pittsburgh Physician of the Year by Vectors.

After earning his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering at Rensselaer, DeMeo completed medical school at Wayne State University. He did his residency training in general surgery at the State University of New York-Downstate Medical Center and in orthopaedic surgery at the Ohio State University. He also completed a fellowship in sports medicine-orthopaedic surgery at the Cleveland Clinic.

DeMeo lives in Ohio Township with his wife, Anita, and his two children.


Joanna Herrington ’94 Wedding

Joanna Herrington and Michael Cuddire were married on Sept. 4, 2005, in Kingston, N.Y. Alumni from Minnesota, Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, and California were in attendance. Shown, from left, are Brandon Engle '93, Chris and Paula Tunney '94, David Stella '94, Joanna Herrington '94 with her husband, Michael Cuddire, Mike and Sue Plankey '94, Erik Wu '92, and Paul Bradbury '92.


Class of ’66 Remembers Bill Dogan

A Tribute by Bonnie Hepburn, Class of ’66 correspondent

Several weeks after our fabulous 40th Reunion, we received the very sad news that our class president Bill Dogan had died on July 19. He worked tirelessly and most successfully to make our 40th Reunion the best ever, went into the hospital unexpectedly days before the reunion, and then died a few weeks later while awaiting a liver transplant. Bill was a family man, an architect, a brother of LXA, and a member of Phalanx.

Bill’s funeral was held in Portsmouth, N.H., where he had spent the major part of his professional career. RPI people attending the visiting hours/funeral were Bill’s brother Wayne Dogan ’63, John Rossettie ’66, Eric Kluz ’67, John Dyer ’65, Bob Winne ’67, Jim Somes ’66, Bonnie Hepburn ’66, and Kathy Kinsey (Office of Alumni Relations). Kathy Kinsey had worked closely with Bill and his committee to plan the reunion.

A close friend referred to Bill as “Mister Portsmouth.” He was a major visionary in the Market Square development which transformed Portsmouth from a seedy run-down port city to an upscale seacoast destination for living, dining, strolling, and shopping. “Mister Portsmouth” also described his fame in the community.

You know how it usually is at funerals — after the family gives their eulogies, the minister opens it up to other attendees to make their comments. Few do. Not so at Bill’s service — a long stream of friends spoke eloquently about their fond memories. One friend commented that Bill was not gone but with him every day as the friend goes from room to room in the beautiful house Bill designed and built for him.

The Bill we knew as “Doags,” the Bill of the Hoosick Street Players, was the man whose life large numbers of people came to celebrate. Even so, I’ve had a very challenging time getting friends to talk about their memories of Bill — they begin, a guarded look crosses their faces as they realize their accounts will be printed, and they then mumble something about not being able to remember anything specific.

One brave soul, though, did speak up. Mr. X’s story involved four or more Class of ’66 freshmen who liberated an “Honest John” missile on display near the ’87 Gym and relocated it to a place of greater honor against the goalpost on the football field. The missile had no engine, so it was light enough to be relocated by the group of 18-year-olds. It was also heavy enough to bend the goalposts so that “Honest John” pointed directly at the Pittsburgh Building. There it reposed on Monday morning as classes recommenced. Unnamed future Men of Substance were involved.

Family and friends were the foundation of Bill’s life. He loved to be around people, continuing as the consummate party animal up until his final weeks. His kids said it took a long time before they realized that not everyone’s home was typically filled with a huge group of friends. Friendship maintenance was one of Bill’s great skills. He made the outgoing calls to people to keep relationships going.

After many years solo, Bill had recently remarried and very happily. He and wife Pat had moved to Sarasota, Fla., to be closer to Bill’s elderly parents. At the time of his death, he was enthusiastically engaged in real estate design and development there.

You may remember Bill’s ex-wife Vivian, too, because Bill was married senior year. Vivian used to wheel their firstborn in a stroller to the Greene Building where Bill was completing his fifth-year studies.

Bill played football for RPI with determination but only later, in both the New England Patriots and the Boston Red Sox, found teams whose performance matched his dreams. Years of his vocal support culminated in the Super Bowl and World Series wins for the two teams. Meaning no disrespect — you have to have grown up in New England to really understand this — he lived to see the Red Sox win the World Series.

He played many sports and engaged in many outdoor activities with his friends and family — tennis, racquetball, golf, snow and water skiing, canoeing, etc. He was endlessly patient in coaching his kids in sports.

William Smith Dogan’s obituary follows:
Sarasota, FL - William Smith Dogan, 61, of Sarasota, Fla., passed away on July 19, 2006, at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston after a brief illness. An architect and real estate developer, Bill began his career in Woonsocket, R.I., and subsequently lived and worked for many years in the Portsmouth, N.H., area. He and his wife, Pat, recently moved to Sarasota, where he was employed as vice president for commercial development at the Sarasota office of Robert Harris Homes Inc., of Atlanta. He is survived by his wife, Patricia White Dogan; his parents, William and Lorraine; his daughters, Kim, Stacey, and Keri, of the Boston area; his son Will, of San Francisco; his stepchildren, Kristen Donahue and Dan Blickensderfer; his grandchildren, Becky and Oliver Shapiro, Zachary Pelzar, Abigail Hamel, and Finley Donahue; and his beloved dog Sophie.

William Dogan was born on Sept. 12, 1944, in Providence, R.I. He attended Woonsocket High School and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., where he studied architecture and building science and played on the football team. He was licensed to practice architecture in Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, and Florida, and was a member of the American Institute of Architects and the National Conference of Architectural Registration Boards. He developed residential and commercial real estate projects in Rhode Island, Maine, and New Hampshire for over 20 years.

Friends and family will remember Bill as a man who loved life and lived it to the fullest. Wherever he lived, Bill had large and close circles of friends. He was active in a number of community organizations. He was a past president of the Woonsocket Rotary Club, where he was named a Paul Harris Fellow. He was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and an active RPI alumnus, who recently chaired the committee for his college class’s 40th reunion. He was a member of South Church in Portsmouth, N.H. Bill was an avid sports fan. He enjoyed “all sports, all the time,” and had an especially strong love/hate relationship with the Red Sox and Patriots.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory can be made to the American Liver Foundation, New England Chapter, 88 Winchester Street, Newton, MA 02461, to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, c/o Lynn Hopwood, Hedley Building, 110 8th Street, Troy, NY 12180, or to the charity of your choice.

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