The University of Oklahoma College of Engineering
Distinguished Graduates Society inducted six alumni May 7 during
the college's 1994 convocation in Norman.
The society, established in 1990, honors alumni who have made
significant contributions to their professions, in public
service, education and professional and civic organizations.
Twenty-nine alumni and one professor emeritus have been honored
The 1994 members are Samuel J. Cerny of Oklahoma City, retired
chairman and chief executive officer of Grace Petroleum Corp.;
Garman O. Kimmell of Oklahoma City, chief executive officer of
Kimray Inc.; Jere W. McKenny of Oklahoma City, retired president
and chief operating officer of Kerr-McGee Corp.; James A. Close
of Tulsa, president of CloseBend Inc.; Robert W. Hughes of
Austin, chairman and chief executive officer of Prime Cable
Corp.; and Robert M. Nerem of Atlanta, Institute Professor and
Parker H. Petit Distinguished Chair for Engineering in Medicine
in the George Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at the
Georgia Institute of Technology.
Cerny, a native of Enid, earned his bachelor's degree in
geological engineering from OU in 1955 and began his career with
Shell Oil Co. In 1965 he joined Cleary Petroleum Corp. and
remained with the firm until it was acquired by W.R. Grace. Cerny
became chairman and CEO of Grace Petroleum Corp. before retiring
Raised in Oklahoma and Kansas, Kimmell transferred to OU from
Wichita State University and completed his bachelor's degree in
petroleum engineering in 1936 and his master's degree the
following year. He formed Kimray Inc. in 1948, which has grown
to be a $2 million company with 180 employees and annual sales of
Kimmell has 28 patents for inventions which include oil and
gas equipment controls, thermostats, geological instruments and
various medical devices, such as the surfactometer, vena cava
filter, orthopedic devices, artificial kidneys and the portable
blood pressure recorder. He has made his inventions available
for the public good.
McKenny, a native of Okmulgee, earned his bachelor's degree in
geological engineering in 1951 and a master's degree 1952. He
joined Kerr-McGee in 1953 as a geologist.
Hughes, a native of Ponca City and a 1958 chemical engineering
graduate, has become a cable television industry pioneer who
founded Prime Cable of Austin which serves more than 900,000
subscribers in six states.
A native of Norman, Close received his bachelor's degree in
mechanical engineering in 1943.
Nerem, an Illinois native, earned his bachelor's degree in
aeronautical engineering in 1959 from OU and his master's degree
in 1961 and doctoral degree in 1964 in aeronautical and
astronautical engineering from Ohio State University. . .
Greg and Anita LaPat have been recognized for their McDonald's
nostalgia restaurant at NW 23rd St. and N. Pennsylvania Ave. with
the April Lookin' Good award, presented by Oklahoma City
Beautiful and Cox Cable.
The award was presented to the LaPats by Mayor Ronald J.
Norick at the Oklahoma City Council meeting Tuesday.
The LaPats, who live in Mustang, were involved in the
development and design of the restaurant, which has memorabilia
reminiscent of the early McDonald's restaurants of the 1950s.
This particular site is the first McDonald's in the world to have
a drive-in and carhops since Ray Crock opened his first
McDonald's in 1955. The original McDonald's concept, before
Crock bought the restaurant idea from the McDonald brothers in
California, included carhops.
Oklahoma City's new restaurant has mixed some of the services
of the past with the latest in McDonald's technology, including
three drive-through windows designed to handle 240 cars per lunch
A 1955 Ford displayed out front of the new restaurant was
purchased in Oklahoma City and repainted its original colors of
red and white which were still stocked. …