Four engineering alumni have been honored by the Association of Rice Alumni (ARA) for their contributions to Rice. They were recognized at a dinner held May 12 at the River Oaks Country Club.
James Blackburn â€™74 and N. Wayne Hale â€™76 received the Distinguished Alumni Award, which recognizes alumni who advance the standards and excellence of the university through distinctive professional or volunteer careers. Blackburn earned his masterâ€™s in environmental science and engineering at Rice, and today is a professor in the practice in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Hale earned his bachelorâ€™s degree in mechanical engineering and is a former NASA engineer who served as a flight director and space shuttle program manager.
David Gibbs â€™71 was presented with the Meritorious Service Award, which is given to those who have made significant contributions toward the advancement of Rice. Gibbs earned both bachelorâ€™s and masterâ€™s degrees in chemical engineering and went on to found David K. Gibbs Associates, a real estate development firm. A longtime supporter of Rice athletics, Gibbs and his wife, Barbara â€™73 (Spanish) endowed the Barbara and David Gibbs Recreation and Wellness Center, and have given generously to athletic teams and initiatives, as well as the Shepherd School of Music, the Rice 360Ëš Institute for Global Health and the George R. Brown School of Engineering.
Priya Prasad â€™08 and Teddy Bucher â€™08 were recipients of the Builders Award, established to honor young alumni who have made outstanding contributions to the university following their graduation. Prasad earned her bachelorâ€™s degree in chemical engineering and is an intellectual property attorney with Exxon Mobil. She is currently president of the Rice Engineering Alumni board. Bucher also earned his bachelorâ€™s in chemical engineering and is now a first-year student at the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business. He will intern with McKinsey & Co.â€™s Houston office this summer and looks to pursue a career in management consulting after he earns his MBA.