Alumni Hall of Fame Award Winners - 1977
Born in Spokane, Wash., on Oct. 12, 1910,
Malcolm M. Renfrew attended Potlatch High School. He attended
the University of Idaho where he received his bachelor's degree
in 1932, his master's in 1934 and earned his doctorate from the
University of Minnesota.
Before returning to the university in 1959, he worked
for E.I. Du Pont de Nemours, Inc., General Mills and Spencer Kellogg
and Sons. He received national recognition for his work in the
co-development of Teflon. He also was a co-inventor of an epoxy
resin which is used as the base for most marine paints, now used
by the U.S. Navy to protect ship hulls from corrosion.
When he assumed his duties as head of the UI Department
of Physical Science, the small chemistry department was housed
in an outmoded building and lacked modern research and teaching
equipment. Under Renfrew's guidance, the department has grown
from being a small service department to a full-fledged academic
department with a doctoral program, featuring nationally recognized
staff and a viable research program. Renfrew served as the head
of the Department of Physical Science until 1967, when it was
split to create the departments of physics and chemistry. He stepped
down as the head of chemistry in 1973 to devote more time to teaching.
He was awarded department head emeritus following his retirement
Renfrew has more than 33 publications, 17 U.S. patents,
a number of foreign patents and numerous grants and honors. He
received the James Flack Norris Award for outstanding achievement
in teaching chemistry, conferred by the northeastern section of
the American Chemical Society in 1976. He also received an honorary
doctor of science degree from UI in 1976.
He is a member of many professional societies that
include the American Association for Advancement of Science (fellow),
American Chemical Society, American Institute of Chemists (fellow),
Idaho Academy of Science, Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma
Xi and Phi Sigma.
Renfrew and his wife Carol Joy (Campbell) Renfrew,
reside in Moscow.
Gerald W. Thomas
Gerald W. Thomas is a native of Small, where he was born
and raised on the Medicine Lodge Creek Ranch. He received an associate
degree of arts from Pasadena Junior College, a Bachelor of Science
in forestry from the University of Idaho in 1941, and a Doctor
of Philosophy degree from Texas A&M University in1951.
Thomas was the president of New Mexico State University
for many years, starting in 1970. From 1958 to 1970, he served
at Texas Tech as dean of agriculture, interim executive vice president
and had various teaching assignments in range management, ecology,
and resource use. Two years prior to that, he was research coordinator
for Texas Agricultural Experiment Station. During World War II,
he was a Naval aviator and was awarded three Distinguished Flying
Crosses, two Air Medals and three Presidential Unit Citations.
He is a fellow in the American Association for the
Advancement of Science, a member of Sigma Xi, Phi Kappa Phi, Alpha
Zeta, the Society for Range Management, and the Soil Conservation
Society of America. Dr. Thomas has authored or contributed to
several books and articles to various professional texts. He also
was appointed to the Board of International Agricultural Development
by President Ford.
Thomas is a past president of the Regional Environmental
Education, Research and Improvement Organization, past president
of Lubbock Rotary Club, the Southwest Alliance for Latin America
and the West Texas Water Institute. He is the recipient of the
50th Anniversary Medal of the Federal Land Banks for "outstanding
contributions to American agriculture," former deputy director
of the International Center for Arid and Semi-Arid Land Studies.
Arthur L. Troutner
Arthur L. Troutner, a native of Pingree, graduated from
Boise High School, attended Boise Junior College, served four
years in the Army Air Corps as an aerial engineer, then earned
his bachelor's degree in architecture from the University of Idaho
During the 1950s, he gained a reputation as a designer
and builder of unusual contemporary homes in Boise, Sun Valley
and southwestern Idaho. In 1956, Troutner conceived the idea for
a unique building joist composed of wood and steel and designed
to be utilized for roof and floor structural systems. He worked
on the design for three years and in 1959, joined with Harold
E. Thomas to organize a company. The firm, known as Trus and Joint
Corp., has since grown to one of the nations leading suppliers
of lightweight floor and roof systems with manufacturing plants
and sales offices throughout the United States and western Canada.
In 1957, he designed and built the Boise Little Theatre
building. He has earned 29 U.S. patents from 1962 to 1975. Troutner
also developed the trus joist slabs used in the construction of
the William H. Kibbie-ASUI Activity Center. The Kibbie Dome was
named outstanding engineering project of 1976 by American Society
of Engineers. Also in 1976, Troutner was awarded an honorary Doctor
of Science degree from UI.
In addition to his work as an architect, Troutner
also is a sculptor, artist and photographer. His work in these
fields was recognized with a one-man show at the College of Idaho
in 1968. He is an active and concerned conservationist and has
worked on improving Boise's Greenbelt Area, the Barber Dam project,
and has served on the Nature Conservancy Committee.