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Distinguished Alumni


Alumni Excellence Academy Award Recipients 2012

Dr. Richard R. Hartman

Dr. Hartman attended Western Michigan University and graduated with majors in Chemistry and Paper Science in 1977. He attended the Institute of Paper Chemistry, where he graduated with a M.S. degree in Management Science and a Ph.D. degree in Paper Physics.  Richard has over 35 years of experience in the pulp and paper industry with James River Corporation, Simpson Paper Co., and International Paper. 

He has worked in several functional areas throughout his career; process and technical engineering, product development, marketing, manufacturing, plant management, capital project management and business leadership.  His current assignment is the Chief Operating Officer with New-Indy Containerboard, a recently formed joint venture between The Kraft Group and Schwarz Partners.

Richard and Marilyn Holder Hartman have been married for 29 years, and have two grown children; a daughter who lives in Knoxville, TN and a son who lives in Fort Worth, TX.  In 2005, Richard and Marilyn established the Hartman Family Endowment within the Paper Tech Foundation.  He currently serves on the Board of the PTF.


Charles P. Klass II 

Mr. Klass graduated from Western Michigan University in 1962 with a BA degree with a major in mathematics and minors in pulp and paper technology and chemistry. He received a Master of Business Administration with Distinction degree from Pace University in 1968. His 55+ years of paper industry experience include technical and operating management positions with Hamilton Paper, Oxford Paper, Union Camp and Westvaco; editorial experience with Paper Trade Journal; technical service, sales, and marketing management positions with Merck Chemical, Lockport Felt, Asten Group, and Inventing/BTG Coating Systems. In 1986 he became a consultant to the paper industry specialized in coating, surface sizing and development of value-added papers. He joined the WMU faculty in 1999 as Adjunct Professor of Paper Engineering and Imaging.

Mr. Klass has been active in TAPPI and has served as Chairman of the Paper and Board Manufacturing Division, the Coating Process Committee, and on the TAPPI Board of Directors. He is a TAPPI Fellow and has received the Paper and Board Manufacturing Division Award and the TAPPI Distinguished Service Award. He has numerous publications and has spoken at many TAPPI, CPPA, PIMA, and PIRA Conferences, Seminars and Short Courses. He has seven patents on papermaking and paper coating.

He has been a trustee of the Paper Technology Foundation since 1993 and played a key role in development of the new paper coating pilot plant on the Parkview Campus. He has brought numerous industrial clients and funding to WMU for research and pilot plant work. He has been named a Fellow of the Paper Technology Foundation and a member of the WMU Paper Technology Foundation Hall of Fame.


Brian A. Mack

Brian Mack is President of HTSE, Inc., an engineering services provider, specializing in industrial process automation and machine control systems. 

His company provides automation solutions for some of the world’s largest chemical, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, semiconductor, and manufacturing companies.  HTSE is known by its clients for their depth of industry knowledge, skillful and often very creative technical solutions and project executions. 

For 22 years, Brian’s roles with HTSE have included development of growth strategies, coordination and distribution of labor resources, cost estimation, and contracts administration.  

He is heavily involved in the engineering side of projects as a subject matter expert and also the mentoring, training, and professional development of HTSE junior engineering staff (his favorite part of the job). 

As President, Brian’s main responsibility is a satisfied client base, at a competitive cost, while ensuring a safe and rewarding working environment for HTSE’s 50 employees.  He holds a BSEE from Western Michigan University and serves on the WMU ECE Advisory Board. 


David F. McGorrin

David F. McGorrin is currently the Integrated Product Team Leader of Engineering on the Air Force Research Laboratories 3D-LZ program.  The 3D-LZ program is developing a sensor to aid helicopters landing in brown out conditions generated by the rotors kicking up sand and dust.  The major reason for loss of aircraft and personnel over the past ten years has been accidents occurring during landing in deserts.

Mr. McGorrin’s previous assignment wastechnical director of Advanced Manufacturing Technologies for Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems (SAS).  The Advanced Manufacturing Technologies organization works with the design engineering organizations to ensure that once designs are released they can be produced within the program cost and schedule goals in SAS’s factories.  This is a new organization that was started by Mr. McGorrin in 2007 with a charter to make producibility emphasis part of the engineering design process.

Prior to his current position, Mr. McGorrin directed the Sensors Engineering Center in El Segundo, CA.   He has held a variety of Line, Program Management and technical positions during his employment at Raytheon and served as the chairman of the El Segundo Diversity Council. He has also been a member of the SAS executive Diversity Council and a member of all of the Employee Resource Groups. Mr. McGorrin has more than 32 years experience in Mechanical Engineering and has been with Raytheon for over 28 years.

Mr. McGorrin received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Western Michigan University and has studied Business and Management at the University of Houston and University of California at Los Angeles. 

C. Wesley Smith

Wesley Smith graduated from Western Michigan University in 1961 with a BS in chemistry with a concentration in paper technology. In early 2002 Wesley retired as executive vice president and member of the board of directors of International Paper, a global forest products, paper, and packaging company. 

At the time of Mr. Smith’s retirement, the company operated thirty-three pulp, paper and packaging mills, ninety converting and packaging plants, thirty-five wood products facilities, seven specialty panels and laminated products plants,  eight specialty chemicals plants in the United States, twelve pulp, paper and packaging mills, forty-five converting and packaging plants, ten wood products facilities, three specialty panels and laminated products plants, and seven specialty chemicals plants in Europe, Asia, South America, and Canada. The company had sales in 2001 of more than $26 billion and employed 100,000 people.

Mr. Smith joined International Paper in 1980 after almost twenty years with Procter & Gamble and rose through a series of manufacturing, technical, general managerial, and executive positions.  In 1989, he became president of International Paper Europe with responsibility for the company’s European operations.  He returned to the United States in 1992 and was named executive vice president of printing papers.  He was elected to the company’s board in 1995.

Mr. Smith is a former member of WMU’s Paper Technology Foundation and Paper Technology board of trustees.  In 1992, Mr. Smith agreed to chair the Paper Technology Foundation’s capital campaign, PTF 2000.  In 1999, he received the Paper Technology Foundation’s prestigious Hall of Fame Award and the Bill Brown Award.  He has served on the board of trustees of the Institute of Paper Science and Technology.  

Alumni Excellence Award Nominations

Alumni Excellence Academy inductees have embraced the expectations of our graduates to change the world. Each of these distin-guished alumni has achieved a high level of authority within their chosen profession, have benefited significantly the mission of their organization, and have demonstrated personal integrity of the highest caliber.

Criteria: Nominees must have earned at least one degree from a program of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Western Michigan University. Nominees must have achieved a high level within their chosen field of endeavor, which is exemplified by having attained increasingly responsible positions in their company/organization, and have been recognized by their peers. Nominees are encouraged to have participated in community and civic activities and have given distinguished service to their profession and/or their community.

Procedures: Recipients are recognized during an inauguration ceremony to be held in October of every year. Recipients are invited to be present at ceremony. If they cannot attend ceremony, induction is delayed until the following year. The number of awards awarded annually will be dependent upon the pool of applicants. Nominations must be received by May of every year. Nominations received after this date will be held for consideration next year.

Click here to view the Nomination Form

Please return completed nomination forms to:

Alumni Excellence Award Committee
College of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Western Michigan University
1903 West Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5314