ORIE Alums Gather at Annual Reunion Breakfast
More than two dozen alumni, including at least seven members of the class of 1978, attended the 2008 ORIE reunion breakfast along with more than a dozen current faculty members. Attendees were afforded a view of an alumni baseball game underway on Hoy Field from the Weiss Undergraduate Lounge on the fourth floor of Rhodes Hall. Among the undergraduate classes represented were 1948, 1973, 1978, 1983, and 2003.
One of the alumni, Henry E. (Hank) Bartels ’48, began his undergraduate education at Rutgers in 1941, but left two years later to enlist in World War II. After flying dive bombers as a Naval Aviator, Hank completed his degree in industrial engineering at Cornell. He put his ORIE degree to good use, retiring in 1984 after a 37-year career in metalworking manufacturing, during which he rose to vice president of Insilco Corporation and president of an Insilco subsidiary.
|Hank Bartels '48 with Professor Paat Rusmevichientong at the breakfast.|
In retirement, Hank and his wife Nancy continue their lifelong interest in education and philanthropy. Hank was a member of the lightweight Cornell crew, and he is now giving the crew program a new racing shell every five years for the next 50 years— each one named for a different classmate who both rowed for Cornell and served as an aviator in WWII. The latest shell, the Alllen Webster, 1948, was christened during Reunion 2008. Hank and Nancy also generously support a broad range of Cornell programs that directly benefit undergraduates through scholarships, internships, and endowed discretionary funds for the dean of engineering, student and academic services, and the director of athletics and physical education.
The Bartels' love of athletics and physical fitness inspired them to make the largest gift ever to Cornell athletics, and Bartels Hall is named in their honor. In addition, Hank and Nancy are avid supporters of Cornell’s Shoals Marine Laboratory in Maine and the Johnson Museum of Art in Ithaca, and they established the Bartels World Affairs Fellowship program to bring students together with distinguished world leaders, such as the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
After the breakfast, Hank commented that he was interested to learn about the new programs in ORIE, but "I was glad to hear that operations - particularly the design and operation of manufacturing systems - are an important focus area for ORIE. I also enjoyed meeting the young faculty."
|Professor Robert G. Bland BS '69 Ph.D. '74, left, and Neil MacCormick '83 chat at the reunion breakfast.|
Neil MacCormick '83, who is in charge of a content management technology organization at the legal division of Thomson Reuters, said "it was my first ORIE alumni breakfast and it was great. I've been to several reunions and I'm glad that I went this time. I'll be back." MacCormick noted that he uses OR concepts all the time "in devising solutions for managing Thomson Reuters' enormous information base. My degree really helps in formulating innovative ways of thinking about new information management techniques."
|Saul Fishman, Bob Shaw, Steve Follett, Gerard Badorrek, Mike Brown, Harry G. Rudolph III, and Charles Tall -- members of the ORIE class of 1978.|
Harry Rudolph '78 probably traveled furthest to come to the reunion and the breakfast. He is a general manager at Delphi Corporation (formerly part of General Motors) in Seoul, Korea, where he has been living for nearly 14 years. He found the reunion a great opportunity to "meet up with former classmates as well as current faculty and students," he said, adding that "there have been a lot of positive changes in the ORIE program and facilities, and it was a great opportunity to see these first hand." Rudolph noted that "the basic engineering and ORIE principles that I learned while at Cornell have provided an excellent foundation throughout my career."
Charles Tall, seen on the right of the class of 1978 group photo, founded Archelon, an options market maker and proprietary trader of exchange listed options, futures and equities in the US, Europe, and Korea. He was recently featured in an article on Cornell Global Fellows in the Cornell Engineering Magazine.
Another member of the class of 1978, Bob Shaw, is a former Marine Corps infantry officer who has spent much of his career in the hospitality industry, as Chief Operating Officer of a chain of bakery cafe stores, as the top US employee of the French firm Sodexho, SA, and and as CEO of Spirit Cruises, Inc. and Premier Yachts, Inc. However after selling his company in 2006 and a sabbatical, he is now running a 75-year-old mechanical contracting company in the Washington, DC area. "My mother loves that I am finally using my engineering degree," he jokes.
|Narisa Ratana '03, Professor Jack Muckstadt, and Dorothy Kim '03.|
Narisa Ratana '03 has also embarked on a career in hospitality, following "my dream of applying OR to the restaurant industry," which originated with her part-time work as a prep cook at the Statler during college. She worked as a consultant with Strategic Restaurant Engineering, doing time studies and facilities design, and now works for Starbucks, initially focusing on design approaches to get "customers lattes and frappuccinos faster" before a recent move to her first non-engineering position, in marketing. "My first reunion wouldn't have been the same without a visit to Rhodes Hall," she said, adding that "it was great to see the engineering quad back in shape" following the construction of Duffield Hall that began while she was an undergraduate.
During the breakfast, Professor Jack Muckstadt showed several of the alums the interactive classroom on the fourth floor of Rhodes, and explained what current students are doing in their classes there. After the tour Bob Shaw's wife exclaimed to him that she had "learned more in 20 minutes about how your brain works than I have in 25 years of marriage!"
|James Renegar and Gary Hedge '73.|
ORIE Director James Renegar said "it was great to see so many alumni at the breakfast, and to learn about their interesting experiences in ORIE and their subsequent careers."
The Weiss Undergraduate Lounge, where the breakfast was held, previously occupied Upson Hall together with other ORIE facilities that were moved to Rhodes several years ago. The interactive classroom, two computer laboratories, four project meeting rooms and several offices round out ORIE's presence on the fourth floor of Rhodes.