Notable Purdue Alumni

Larry Garatoni

Larry GaratoniPledge Class: 1958

BS Civil Engineering, Purdue University

Mr. Garatoni is a graduate of Purdue University (BSCE 1961) and completed the Owners/President Program of the Harvard Business School. Larry served in the Army Reserve attaining the rank of Captain. He and his wife Judy have four children and 13 grandchildren.

In 1966 Larry and a partner built and operated one long-term care facility. He later bought the partner’s interests. Larry continued building healthcare related facilities and companies and up to 1994, Larry founded and operated several companies under the Health Quest Group name. These businesses included the Health Quest Corporation, Health Quest Development Corporation, Achievement Rehab Corporation, Long Term Care Pharmaceutical Services Corporation, and Health Quest Infusion Therapy Corporation. In 1994 he made a strategic decision to sell all of these companies.

From 1994 – 2007, Larry started or acquired and served as the CEO of three software and internet sales companies:  Achieve Healthcare Technology,, and All of these business interests were sold in 2007.

In 2007 Larry founded HQ Investments, which is a family office. HQ Investments manages various publicly traded and private investments. Personally, and through the Garatoni-Smith Family Foundation, he and his wife Judy founded the Career Academy and the Success Academy charter schools with an enrollment of 1150 students. He also cofounded Magnet Investors, a local angel investment group.

Randall L. Herrel, Sr.

herrelPledge Class: 1970

BS. Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering, Purdue University
MS, Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering, Northrop University
MBA, Stanford University

Randall L. Herrel., Sr., currently serves as President and CEO of the Santa Catalina Island Company, a 120-year-old family hospitality, resort and real estate company. Mr. Herrel joined the company in 2007 and also chairs the Finance & Investment Committee and is a member of its Executive Committee. From 1996 to 2006 Mr. Herrel served as President and CEO of Ashworth Inc., a publicly traded global sportswear company. He also served as its Chairman from 2001 to 2006.

Mr. Herrel joined Quiksilver Inc. in 1989 as its Chief Financial Officer and later held the additional position as its Chief Operating Officer. From 1994 to 1996 he served as President. Quiksilver is a publicly traded global sportswear company.

Mr. Herrel is a Director of Storm Industries, Inc., a private real estate, and global industrial products company. He also serves on the company’s Audit and Compensation Committees. Mr. Herrel is an honorary chair of Our Lady Queen of Angels Church capital campaign.

Mr. Herrel graduated from Purdue University with a BS degree in Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering, Northrop University with an MS degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering and an MBA from Stanford University. He is a member of Legatus and the Purdue and Stanford Business School Alumni Associations. He is married to his wife Carol for 42 years and has two grown children.

Robert J. Adams Jr, PhD

Pledge Class: BST – 1978

B.S. Industrial Engineering, Purdue – 1981
M.B.A., Babson College’s Olin School of Management
Ph.D., (Management) Capella University
Rob Adams is on the faculty of the MBA program at the University of Texas at Austin, where he teaches entrepreneurship and is also the Director of Texas Venture Labs. He’s a former software executive, entrepreneur and institutional fund manager. He has served on many corporate boards, and has founded or financed more than 40 companies which have launched more than 100 products and raised more than a billion dollars of capital. Dr. Adams is currently active with a number of technology and life sciences companies as a board member or advisor.
Prior to his appointment at The University of Texas he was in the venture capital industry, holding a partner position at TL Ventures, and Managing Director and Founder positions at AV Labs (Austin Ventures) and Tejas Venture Partners. Prior to the venture business he was a software operating executive for two decades. This career included positions in sales, marketing and general management. He was with Lotus (NYSE: IBM), joining the company shortly after its public offering.  Adams was their first corporate sales representative, and went on to be instrumental in the development and launch of both 1-2-3 for Macintosh and Lotus Notes.  He then founded and was CEO of Business Matters, a venture backed developer of financial modeling products that was acquired. He was an executive with Pervasive Software (NASDAQ: PVSW), a company he helped take public.
Adams holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University, where he is a Distinguished Alumnus, a Masters of Business Administration from Babson College’s Olin School of Management, and a Ph.D. in Management from Capella University.  He has taught at the MBA programs of The Acton School of Business, Babson College, The University of Texas at Austin, and St. Edwards University.
He is a nationally recognized speaker on entrepreneurship, product and financing strategy. He recently keynoted the Inc. 500 business conference and consults for numerous Fortune 500 companies. He blogs for, and is on the board of directors for AOL Small Business. He has been covered in Business Week, Forbes, Fortune, Money, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, on Bloomberg Radio, Public Television, and public radio’s nationally syndicated “Marketplace” program.
He is the author of A Good Hard Kick in the Ass: Basic Training for Entrepreneurs (Random House/Crown, 2002), and If You Build It Will They Come? Three Steps to Test and Validate Any Market Opportunity (Wiley, 2010).
He provides expert testimony on technology related business issues, and has consulted on economic development and early stage company investment and its impact on economies for governments including Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Thailand.
Adams is a Fellow at the IC2 Institute; a University of Texas based foundation that runs the Austin Technology Incubator. He is a visiting Professor at Thammasat University in Thailand and The University of Manitoba. He is an avid downhill skier and runner. He was a collegiate rower and graduated from the Marine Corps’ Officer Candidate School

James C. Anderson


Pledge Class: 1969 

B.S.E.E., Purdue University
M.S.E.E., Purdue University
M.B.A., Stanford Graduate School of Business

Before working to build Foundation Capital, Jim was one of the founding partners at Merrill, Pickard, Anderson & Eyre in 1980. Now, he’s able to look back on a career that has included early-stage investments in a host of companies that have grown to become some of the largest players in communications, computer systems and software. Jim has further helped to nurture that growth by serving on the boards of Auspex Systems, 3Com, Bridge Communications, Network Computing Devices, Network Equipment Technology and Kalpana. The knowledge of operations that has informed his venture capital decisions was initially gained in Hewlett-Packard’s Computer Systems Group, where Jim held various marketing management positions.

In recent years, to serve interests beyond the realm of start-up enterprises, Jim has created Legacy Venture, which is an exciting new venture vehicle to encourage high-impact philanthropy.

His academic achievements during his years at Purdue are commemorated by the Anderson wing of the Purdue Triangle Chapter house, which contains the house’s library and study rooms.

Melvin H. Chiohioji


Pledge Class: 1958

B.S. Electrical Engineering, Purdue University
M.B.A., University of Hawai’i
Ph.D., Business Administration, George Washington University

Graduated from Purdue University in 1961 with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering.  After completion of the Naval Reserve Officers’ Training Corp (R.O.T.C.) he was commissioned an Ensign in the U. S. Navy. Following active service, he served in various reserve assignments culminating in his selection to Rear Admiral in 1987. As a Rear Admiral his last position was as Commander of the Second Naval Construction Brigade, responsible for all the Seabee operations in the Atlantic and Mediterranean regions.

Chiogioji’s advanced education includes a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Hawaii in 1968, and a Doctor of Business Administration degree, majoring in Operations Research, from George Washington University in 1972.

A federal civil servant for 27 years, Mel served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy and as Deputy Director and Construction Manager for the New Production Reactor Program at the U.S. Department of Energy.

Admiral Chiogioji is currently president and CEO of MELE Associates, a consulting firm that provides engineering, environmental, management, telecommunication, information technology and training services to federal and private sector organizations. The firm is also actively involved in developing renewable energy projects throughout the world. He is a registered professional electrical engineer, a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, a life member of the Naval Reserve Association, a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers, and the Society of American Military Engineers.

Chiogioji is listed in “Who’s Who in America,” “Who’s Who in the World,” “Who’s Who in Technology,” “Who’s Who in Finance and Industry” and “American Men and Women of Science.” He had co-authored with Dr. Eleanor Oura a book entitled, “Residential and Commercial Building Energy Conservation,” and another book entitled, “Industrial Energy Conservation” – both published by Marcel Dekker, Incorporated.

Jack R. Kelble


Pledge Class: 1963

B.S. Engineering, Purdue University
M.S. Engineering, University of Pennsylvania

Kelble recently retired as the corporate vice president and president of Space and Airborne Systems, the largest business unit of Raytheon Company, a major supplier of defense and aerospace systems and commercial electronics technologies. He was responsible for 13,000 employees and sales of more than $4 billion annually for the California-based company. He now lives in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Kelble joined Raytheon in 1979 as director of Data Acquisition Systems and quickly rose through the ranks, leading numerous divisions, departments, areas, programs, businesses and companies within the corporation and gaining experience in systems engineering, program and engineering management and business unit leadership. Throughout his career, he has championed causes critical to maintaining effective communications between employees and management. In 2005, Kelble received Raytheon’s Executive of the Year Award.

He has also served on the board of directors of the Los Angeles Boy Scout Council and received the 2005 Tom Harmon Memorial Award for outstanding service from the Boy Scouts of America.

Kelble assists his alma mater on the campaign steering committee for the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Previously, he received the Purdue Outstanding Electrical and Computer Engineering Award in 2000 and was named a Purdue Distinguished Engineering Alumnus in 2003.

Robert W. Lucky


Pledge Class: 1955

B.S. Electrical Engineering, Purdue University
M.S. Electrical Engineering, Purdue University
Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, Purdue University

After graduating from Purdue, Lucky joined AT&T Bell Laboratories, where he initially studied ways of sending digital information via telephone lines. Lucky’s work included the development of the adaptive equalizer technique for correcting distortion in telephone signals in high speed data transmission.

In his current position as executive director of communications sciences research for Bell Laboratories, he coordinates research in areas such as fiber optics, data networks, mobile communication, image processing, and broadband communications technologies and services.

Lucky is active in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), has served as president of the IEEE Communications Society, and has been both vice president and executive vice president of the parent organization. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and received the prestigious Marconi Award in Italy. Lucky has served as editor of several technical journals. Since 1982, he has written a bimonthly column for Spectrum magazine. He is a consulting editor for a series of books on communications, the co-author of a heavily cited textbook on data communications, and the author of the popular book, Silicon Dreams.

Lucky has been on the advisory boards or committees of many universities and government organizations. He has received honorary doctorates from Purdue and from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Frederick R. Meyer


Pledge Class: 1946

B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University
M.B.A., Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration

General Electric Company, 1949-1956; Treasurer, Aladdin Industries, Inc., 1958-1967; President, Tyler Corporation, 1967-1986; President, and C.E.O., Aladdin Industries, Inc., 1985-1999; Chairman of the Board, Aladdin Industries, LLC, 1999-present

Robert B. Nagel

nagel2Pledge Class: 1957

B.S. Industrial Economics, Purdue University
M.B.A., The University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Mr. Nagel is a founding partner and currently Chairman of CEO Partners, Inc., an independent management consulting firm specializing in the food service industry. The company provides strategic business counsel to CEOs and senior management, primarily in areas of integration and management of acquired companies, business unit strategy, supply chain efficiency, and shareholder value improvement. Clients include manufacturers, distributors, chain restaurant operators, and trade associations.

Henry J. Ramey, Jr.


Pledge Class: 1948

B.S. Chemical Engineering, Purdue University
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, Purdue University

Professor of Petroleum Engineering at Stanford University, as well as Texas A&M. Dr. Ramey was also a member of the US National Academy of Engineering.


Theodore S. Rappaport, PhD

Ted Rappaport Pledge Class: AAO – 1979

B.S. Electrical Engineering, Purdue – 1982
M.S. Electrical Engineering, Purdue – 1984
Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, Purdue – 1987


Ted Rappaport is the William and Bettye Nowlin Chair in Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin and is the founding director of the Wireless Networking and Communications Group (WNCG) at the university’s Austin campus, a center he founded in 2002. Prior to joining UT Austin, he was on the electrical and computer engineering faculty of Virginia Tech where he founded the Mobile and Portable Radio Research Group (MPRG), one of the world’s first university research and teaching centers dedicated to the wireless communications field. Prof. Rappaport has been a pioneer in the fields of radio wave propagation, wireless communication system design, and 60 GHz/millimeter wave communications, and his work has influenced many international wireless standard bodies.
Rappaport has served on the Technological Advisory Council of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and has conducted research for NSF, DoD, and dozens of global wireless communications companies throughout his career. He is one of the world’s most highly cited authors in the wireless field, having authored or co-authored over 200 technical papers, over 100 US and international patents, and several best-selling books. In 2006, Rappaport was elected to serve on the Board of Governors of the IEEE Communications Society (ComSoc), and he was elected to the Board of Governors of the IEEE Vehicular Technology Society (VTS) in 2008. Also in 2008, he received the Industry Leadership award from the Austin Wireless Alliance and the IEEE Communications Society WTC Recognition Award for outstanding achievements and contributions in the area of wireless communications systems and networks. In 1999, his pioneering work on site-specific RF propagation and system design received the IEEE Communications Society Stephen O. Rice Prize Paper Award.
In 1989, he founded TSR Technologies, Inc., a cellular radio/PCS software radio manufacturer that he sold in 1993 to what is now CommScope, Inc. (NYSE: CTV). In 1995, he founded Wireless Valley Communications Inc., a site-specific wireless network design and management firm that he sold in 2005 to Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT). Rappaport has testified before the US Congress, has served as an international consultant for the ITU, has consulted for over 30 major telecommunications firms, and works on many national committees pertaining to communications research and technology policy. He is a highly sought-after consultant and technical expert, and serves on boards of several high-tech companies. As a faculty member, Rappaport has advised over 100 students who continue to accomplish great things in the communications, electromagnetics and circuit design fields throughout industry, academia, and government. When he is not teaching or doing research with students, he enjoys long-distance running, amateur radio (N9NB), singing, and traveling. He received B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Purdue University in 1982, 1984, and 1987, respectively, and is an Outstanding Electrical Engineering Alumnus from his alma mater.

John M. Storm


Pledge Class: 1973

B.S. Metallurgical Engineering, Purdue University

Purdue’s John M. Storm knows a thing or two about setting the standard for others to follow.  Maybe that is why John has been honored by everyone from Purdue University to the Society of Manufacturing Engineering.

In his first professional job out of the box, John’s innovations resulted in corporate annual savings of $6,000,000.  That’s right, 6 million dollars. In 1977, John started working as a process metallurgist for Detroit Diesel Allison, a division of General Motors.  John was in charge of testing a furnace the size of a small building.  The result was John being on the edge of creating a new industry standard for furnace applications.  John created a furnace application utilizing a methanol nitrogen atmosphere, which saved GM over 6 million dollars per year.

After that savings, John was provided a small staff and given the opportunity to work on whatever project he wanted to.  John decided to begin with creating an advanced computer-controlled heat treating process for gears.  This process eventually became the Micropulse Process, which GM declined to patent.  So in 1986, John and GM gear specialist Mike Chapin decided to patent the  Micropulse Process and go it alone and created Contour Hardening Inc.  Their goal for their company was to create a cost-effective solution to difficult heat treatment applications.

During the first five years of their business, they did not sell a single one of their large expensive machines.  In fact, John estimates losing between three and four million dollars.  But in 1990, Contour Hardening sold its first system to an overseas transmission manufacturer.  The rest fell into place from there.  Between June 1995 and January 1997, Contour Hardening Inc. had a 300% growth period.  In 2002, sales were $11 million.

This married father of two is also an avid race enthusiast and in 1997, for the first time in racing history, advanced hardening and process control technology was used, resulting in a first and second place win at the Indianapolis 500!  Arie Luyendyk crossed the finish line first and Scott Goodyear crossed second, both, using Contour Hardening’s patented gears, which are stronger, lighter than and twice as strong as the industry standards.  In 2001, CHI sponsored driver Sam Hornish, Jr. of Panther Racing who in 2001 won 3 IRL races and the 2001 IRL Championship.  CHI’s gear designs and induction gear hardening can be found in CART, Score (off-highway series) and FIA sanctioned race vehicles.

William D. Young


Pledge Class: 1964

B.S. Chemical Engineering, Purdue University
M.B.A., Indiana University
Honorable Doctorate Engineering, Purdue University

William D. Young joined ViroLogic as Chairman of the Board and CEO in November 1999. From 1980 until joining ViroLogic, Bill was employed at Genentech, Inc., most recently as Chief Operating Officer. As COO, Bill was responsible for all of the company’s development and commercial functions.

Prior to joining Genentech, Bill worked at Eli Lilly and Company for 14 years and held various positions in production and process engineering, antibiotic process development, and production management. He received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Purdue University and his master’s of business administration from Indiana University. In 1993 he was elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering division of the National Academy of Sciences for his contributions to the development of manufacturing technology for biotechnology-based drug products, in 1997 Purdue presented him the Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award, and in 2000 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Engineering also by his alma mater, Purdue University.


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