DAA Award Winner: Dennis W. Wahr, '74
After ending the 20th century as a highly regarded cardiologist, Dennis Wahr is beginning the 21st century as an equally successful entrepreneur. His expertise in medical device development, the management of multicenter international clinical studies, and product commercialization is evident in his current role as president and chief executive officer of his third medical device company, Holaira, Inc. Holaira is dedicated to the development of products to treat lung diseases. The company’s first product in development is a novel catheter-based system that may improve lung function, exercise capacity, and quality of life for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
In 2001, Wahr became co-founder, president, and CEO of Velocimed, which developed and clinically tested three innovative products to treat cardiovascular disease prior to the company being acquired and commercialized by St. Jude Medical in 2005. Wahr then co-founded and served as president and CEO of Lutonix, which developed a unique drug-coated balloon angioplasty technology for the treatment and prevention of vascular stenosis (narrowing) caused by atherosclerosis. Wahr sold the company after four years to leading medical device manufacturer C.R. Bard, Inc. The Lutonix device has been approved for sale in Europe and is expected to be available soon to U.S. patients.
Wahr’s desire to serve patients through improving technology grew from his 15 years working as an interventional cardiologist. He also was director of
interventional cardiology and chief of cardiology at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor. He is a graduate of Wayne State University’s School of Medicine.
An Athletic Hall of Fame inductee for individual and team achievement, league medalist Wahr led the Britons to a 1972 MIAA golf championship. He was also an honorable mention All-MIAA basketball selection and the team’s Most Valuable Player during the 1973-74 season. Wahr was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity at
He and his wife, Joyce, live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and are the parents of Alexa, Christine, and Jennifer.
DAA Award Winner: Wilbur S. Hurst, '61
When Wilbur Hurst was a student at Albion College he earned a reputation as a serious scholar in the classroom and a successful runner on both the men's track and field team and on the men's cross country team. Since then, he has earned a reputation as a humanitarian and a scientist, receiving recognition as a community leader for the Presidential Conversation on Race and the prestigious Edward Bennett Rosa Award from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the U.S. Department of Commerce Bronze Medal.
A member of Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Kappa at Albion, Hurst went on to earn his master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania before being awarded his Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University. These accomplishments led to a 40-year career as a physicist with the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the U.S. Department of Commerce. During that span, Hurst's work included the development of high-temperature thermocouples for NASA, the development of non-linear Raman spectroscopic techniques, the use of these techniques for the study of the collision dynamics of gas molecules, the study of the spectra of gases at high temperature and pressure conditions, the study of combustion in supercritical water, the development of NIST standard reference materials employed for the intensity calibration of Raman spectrometers, and the application of spectroscopic techniques to investigate the chemical mechanisms during the growth of oxide insulators by single-layer steps. Now retired, he continues as a guest researcher at NIST.
As an active member of a United Methodist church with 1,200 members, Hurst has chaired numerous committees over the years. His service to Albion College has included chairing reunion committees, organizing the first class reunion symposium, membership in the "A" Club, volunteering as a class agent and career mentor, and attending numerous College events both on and off campus. He and his wife, Bette, reside in Damascus, Maryland. They have one daughter, Natalie.
DAA Award Winners: William R. Goudie, '63, and Janet Matilo Goudie, '64
Considered to be the quintessential Albion College couple, Bill and Janet Goudie have continued to be active in College affairs. Their love for one another that began on the Albion campus has extended to include a lasting love for Albion. For over 25 years their individual and dual responses have been "yes" to virtually any volunteer request from their alma mater. They are an inspiration for students and alumni alike as the consummate volunteer couple giving freely of their time, talent, and treasure for the sake of Albion. Through the years, the Goudies have promoted and served Albion as regional event volunteers, as enrollment volunteers, and as campaign committee members and annual giving volunteers, in addition to serving on reunion committees. They both attend every reunion, Homecoming, or alumni event that their schedules allow.
The Goudies have not only been loyal volunteers; they have assumed significant leadership roles in their service to Albion. Janet has served on the Albion College Board of Trustees and is currently an honorary trustee. Bill is a past president of the Alumni Association Board of Directors and served on both the Gerstacker Institute Visiting Committee and on the Planned Giving Advisory Council. Bill and Janet's tireless dedication to Albion is a continuation of their involvement on campus as students, when Bill was active in Delta Tau Delta fraternity and served as editor-in-chief for The Pleiad, while Janet was president of Alpha Xi Delta and an honors student.
After he earned his M.B.A. in finance from the University of Michigan, Bill Goudie's career led him to leadership roles in the banking industry in metropolitan Detroit. He recently retired as first vice president of the financial institutions group with Comerica Bank and was formerly president of Manufacturers Bank of Southfield. Janet Goudie currently works for Doncaster, a women's clothing company, as a fashion consultant. She has also been active with P.E.O. and was a founding member and president of the Paint Creek Center for the Arts. Both Janet and Bill have also served in many volunteer positions at St. Paul's United Methodist Church.
They live in Rochester, Michigan and are the parents of two sons, Doug, '92, and Ted. Doug Goudie was inducted into Albion's Athletic Hall of Fame this weekend.
The Goudies' dual service to their alma mater makes them most deserving of being the second couple to be jointly honored as distinguished alumni.
Meritorious Service Award Winner: James W. Cook, '54
James Cook's lifelong devotion to Albion students and alumni, his service to the College and the community, along with his never-ending thirst for learning, are among the many reasons he has earned this award. A prolific and affable entrepreneur, writer, and musician who defies nutshell descriptions, Cook is to this day one of the most engaged, interested, and interesting individuals in Albion.
Cook served in counterintelligence in the U.S. Army after attending Albion and earning his B.A. from Wayne State University. Recipient of an M.A. from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. from Wayne State University, he was a proud member of the Albion College faculty from 1962 until 2000. During his 38 years in the English Department, he became Albion's first Langbo Trustees' Professor of English. Among his many scholarly activities, he translated numerous literary works from Italian into English and has been a three-time Fellow of the Newberry Library in Chicago, and a Fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the University of Toronto's Pontifical Institute for Mediaeval Studies and Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies. His work as a biographer led to his becoming a stipendiary Fellow of the British Academy. Cook has served as a senior consultant for the University of Michigan Graduate School of Business, and has designed and supervised systems research and training programs for the U.S. Navy and state government agencies. He served briefly as a graduate dean at Walden University's Central Division.
Cook has been regularly involved in the Albion community. He served as president of the Albion District Library Board and the Albion Rotary Club in addition to remaining active in the Albion First United Methodist Church. An avid violist, Cook has played with the Albion College Orchestra for most of the past 54 years.
He and his wife, and sometime co-author, Barbara, now divide their time between Albion and Grawn, Michigan. They have three children, Christopher, Kathleen, '84, and David, and six grandchildren.