Nine alumni joined the ranks of other celebrated engineers in the College of Engineering’s Hall of Fame on Thursday afternoon, March 21.
Students, faculty, staff and families attended to witness the moment.
As the ceremony began, all nine inductees lined up along the stage in green Hall of Fame jackets.
Joseph J. Rencis, dean of the College of Engineering, went onstage to share some remarks about the current class of inductees.
This year’s inductees were Michael Beckage (‘87, engineering technology), Krista L. Harper (‘86, engineering technology), Edward C. Hohmann (posthumous honorary inductee), Bridget Kimball (‘89, electrical engineer), Clark D. Rucker (‘83, engineering technology), Eric E. Schmidt (‘92, aerospace engineer), Kelly M. Sigmon (‘89, industrial engineer), John Valasek (‘86, aerospace engineer), and Tom VanDorpe (‘89, industrial engineer).
Rencis said the group was excellent and was carefully chosen.
“We did more of an internal evaluation on identifying candidates and we had a committee,” he said.
After leaving the university, all nine engineers went on to have successful careers and obtained important positions. Some have even gone on to become presidents of companies or university professors or even both.
For Valasek, a current professor at Texas A&M University, and class of ‘86 aerospace engineer, this accomplishment was very significant and he said he was proud he attended Cal Poly Pomona.
“It’s a tremendous feeling to come back to your alma mater and be recognized this way and it’s also a great way for me to give back, for everything that has been done for me,” Valasek said. “There’s tremendous staff, faculty and classmates, so it’s just been a great experience being a Cal Poly alumnus and I’m really proud of it.”
The inductees will be honored with their names added to the Hall of Fame wall in the atrium of Building 17, in addition to a large photo of each of them with biographical information attached to it, hung around the engineering building.
Cordelia Ontiveros, a professor for the College of Engineering, said the event motivates students to continue in their path to reach their goals.
“It’s a great honor and I think it serves to inspire future generations of students to aspire to a variety of different careers that are possible for them,” Ontiveros said. “Students should take advantage of opportunities that become available to them and [not] be afraid to step out of their comfort zone when opportunities arise.”
3/27/2019 9:32 p.m.: This article has been updated
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