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Alumni Hall of Fame Award Winners - 1977

Malcolm M. Renfrew
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 in 1976.

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 in 1949.

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.


 
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