General Philip Breedlove, CE '77, inducted into CoE Academy

CEE alumnus General Philip Breedlove was one of more than 20 alumni who were honored last month when the College of Engineering held its 2013 Alumni Awards Induction Ceremony.

The April 20 gala featured presentations by Dean Gary S. May, Provost Rafael Bras, and baseball great Reggie Jackson, a longtime supporter of the Institute.

Currently the Commander of US Air Forces in Europe and in Africa, Breedlove, CE ’77, was recently tapped by President Barack Obama to become the next Supreme Allied Commander in Europe. He was unable to attend the Georgia Tech gala, where he was formally inducted in the CoE Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni, but he did send some warm wishes to his alma mater via a videotaped acceptance.

Dean May let attendees know that this was no ordinary honor.

“An honor such as this is a wonderful way for our college to recognize and celebrate the choices and sacrifices our awardees have made,” he said.

“From all walks of life, each of these individuals has brought campus different perspectives, unique ways of doing things, rare intellect, and an exceptional drive to succeed. They left the College of Engineering with not only knowledge but with a deep respect for our field, an appreciation for problem-solving, and a passion for innovation.”

Reggie Jackson spoke eloquently of the single-mindedness of passion, something that connects all people of accomplishment.

“Early on in our careers we set goals, we want to be the best. It is this single-mindness that keeps us going, to move forward. We start focusing on results – whether on the baseball field, the manufacturing floor, or even in the lab," he said. 

"It is a lot of work but has the promise of great rewards. We salute those who paved the way before us and we ask that future players, or should I say, engineers, to carry on the great traditions from Georgia Tech."

The evening began with the induction of seven recent graduates into the Council of Outstanding Young Engineering Alumni:

  • Ryan Davis, BME ’05, manager of field clinical engineering, EnteroMedics, Inc.
  • Jack Gregory Foster, ME ’95, the co-founder and CEO, BrightWhistle, Inc.
  • Andrew Ibbotson, IE ’98, founder and CEO, Digital Assent.
  • John Marshall, IE ’96, founder, president, and CEO, AirWatch.
  • Angela Dobson Mitchell, PTCH ’04, senior engineer, Kimberly-Clark Corporation.
  • Sanjay Parekh, EE ’96, founder of Startup Riot Entrepreneur.
  • Jim Ross, PhD BME ’08, founder, chief technology officer and director of Axion BioSystems.


Eight College of Engineering alumni were inducted into the Georgia Tech Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni:

  • Ali Azad, ME ’82, Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer, The Babcock & Wilcox Company.
  • Susan R. Bonds, IE ’84 founder and CEO of 42 Entertainment, LLC.
  • Gen. Phil Breedlove, CE ’77, Commander, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Africa; Commander Air Component Command, Ramstein; and Director, Joint Air Power Competence Centre, Kalkar, Germany.
  • Marsha Arrendale Craig, ChE ‘81global business director for renewably sourced and sustainable performance polymers, DuPont Performance Polymers.
  • John W. Elbon, AE ’82, vice president and general manager, space exploration, Boeing Defense, Space & Security.
  • Kenneth R. Entrekin, EE ’73, co-founder and CEO, Advantage Industrial Automation.
  • Marty Guarian - MS TEXT '68, director of engineering and technical services, Designtex, Inc.
  • John Laughter, AE ’93, senior vice president, maintenance operations, Delta Airlines, Inc.

Seven alumni were selected for induction into the Georgia Tech Engineering Hall of Fame, a distinction reserved for individuals holding an engineering or honorary degree from Georgia Tech who have made meritorious engineering or managerial contributions during their careers. The 2013 inductees are:

  • Joe K. Cochran, BS CerE ‘65; MS CerE ’68, professor emeritus, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Georgia Tech.
  • Col. William S. McArthur, MS AE ’83, director of safety and mission assurance, Johnson Space Center.
  • James F. Simmons, Text ‘66; MS Text ’67, Chairman and CEO, Custom Solution Builders, LLC.
  • Howard A. Thrailkill, BS EE ’61, president and COO (retired), ADTRAN, Inc.
  • Kyle Turner, EE ‘68; MS NE ‘69; PhD NE ’71, CEO, McCallum-Turner, Inc.
  • James Wesley, IM ’55 co-founder and CEO (retired), Patterson Broadcasting, Inc.
  • Paul H. Williams, ChE ’60, vice president and GM (retired), Specialty Chemicals.

On rare occasions, the College of Engineering bestows the Dean’s Appreciation Award on an individual who has made an extraordinary contribution to the advancement of the College. In 2013, this honor was given to Atlanta businesswoman and former WNBA Atlanta Dream owner Kathy Betty.

College dean Gary May told the audience why this "Honorary Georgia Tech Alumnus" was recognized with yet another honor.

“When Kathy married [School of] Chemical Engineering alumnus, Garry Betty, the late CEO and president of Earthlink, his team, the Yellow Jackets, became her team," said May.

"His love and commitment to Tech became one of hers as well. Although Garry passed away in 2007 at the young age of 49, Kathy has continued the family relationship with Georgia Tech and the College of Engineering. While she has cheered for many of our sports team, she is also a great supporter of the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and the Institute. So much so, she has been named an Honorary Alumnus".