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> Give Back > award programs > gold and white honor recipients

2006 Award Recipients

Christopher W. Klaus, Cls, 96
Outstanding Young Alumnus Award

Christopher W. Klaus is a hacker's worst nightmare. In the tradition of great entrepreneurial legends, Klaus was a dean's list student at Georgia Tech when he dropped out, moved into a spare room in his grandmother's house and in 1994 founded Internet Security Systems.

He is now considered one of the world's foremost Internet security experts and as such has served Georgia Tech, the state of Georgia and the United States in significant leadership roles.

He is a member of the Georgia Tech Advisory Board and the College of Computing Advisory Board. He is also involved with the Technology Association of Georgia, the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Hands On Atlanta and the Georgia Tech Alumni Association, for which he has been a keynote speaker at the Alumni Career Conference. Klaus was co-chairman of the Technical Standards and Common Criteria Task Force for the Department of Homeland Security National Cyber Security Summit. In addition, he was also appointed by Gov. Sonny Perdue to Georgia's Film, Video and Music Advisory Commission.

The phenomenal success of ISS has also showcased Klaus' generous nature. In 2000 at the age of 26, he made a $15 million gift to Georgia Tech to help build the Christopher W. Klaus Advanced Computing Technologies Building, which will house the College of Computing and the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. "I saw this as an opportunity to help move Georgia Tech into being a beacon for the information age," he said. "It is a wonderful feeling to give back to what's enabled my own success and the success of ISS."

Klaus also is the founder and chief executive officer of Kaneva, established in 2004 as an online entertainment destination that originates, discovers and showcases new work and is conceived as a new business model for the online distribution of media. He also spearheaded the development of Kaneva's Massively Multi-Player Online Game platform and Online Game Services.

He and his wife, Crissy, live in Atlanta.

Jean Fraser Duke
Honorary Alumnus Award

Jean Fraser Duke, an alumna of Agnes Scott College, has been married to Paul A. Duke Sr., ME 45, IE 46, for more than 58 years and together they raised five children and supported Georgia Tech all the while. Jean's dedication to Georgia Tech is extraordinary and rivals that of her husband, Paul.

Paul Duke was the first quarterback to play for Bobby Dodd at Georgia Tech. He went on to become the founder and chairman of Peachtree Corners and one of the visionaries behind Technology Park/Atlanta. Paul's extraordinary service to Georgia Tech and many of its organizations earned him the Distinguished Service Award in 1982 and it could not have happened without Jean's support.

Mrs. Duke, the daughter of Genuine Parts Co. founder Carlyle Fraser, continues to work with Georgia Tech through the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computing and its Georgia Industrial Fellowships for Teachers program, which includes the Paul Duke GIFT Fellowship.

Dr. Aaron L. King, Jr.
Honorary Alumnus Award

Atlanta dentist Aaron King had a young patient by the name of Bill Curry, who was offered a football scholarship to play for Georgia Tech. King made him a mouthpiece. Soon Curry's teammates wanted one as well.

In 1965, coach Bobby Dodd asked King to serve as the team dentist for the Tech athletics program. Forty years later, he is still rooting for the Jackets and performing root canals on the players.

"In 39 seasons at Tech we've never had a football player or basketball player get a tooth knocked out when they had a mouthpiece in," King told Tech Topics in 2004.

Many former Tech players remain King's patients. Of course, he has plenty of non-players as patients as well. A few years ago King stepped in to perform an emergency root canal on ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale, who was in town to call a Tech game.

Former basketball coach Bobby Cremins called King "a treasure. He is one of the university's greatest assets."

Robert K. Thompson
Honorary Alumnus Award

As senior vice president for administration and finance at Georgia Tech, Robert K. "Bob" Thompson is responsible for all administrative, business, financial, facility and budget activities carried out on campus. Bob has been the behind-the-scenes driver of more than $1 billion worth of construction and development on campus during the past 11 years. The campus has transformed through his leadership efforts. He has also led the charge to enhance the operating processes and procedures at the Institute in ways which have not only made Georgia Tech more efficient and cost-effective but also more customer friendly. His contributions have truly brought Georgia Tech to the forefront of today's modern universities.

Mr. Thompson is a member of numerous Institute and Board of Regents committees and councils and sits on the boards of the Georgia Tech Research Corp., Georgia Tech Athletic Association, Emtech Biotechnology Development Inc., Georgia Tech Facilities Inc. and the Georgia Advanced Technology Ventures Corp.

Before joining the Georgia Tech administration in 1995, Thompson was the Vice Provost for planning and budgeting at the University of Washington, where he earned both a bachelorís degree in aeronautical engineering and an MBA. He also worked as a Thermodynamic Engineer at Lockheed Missiles and Space Co. and as a research engineer in the Boeing Co. space division.

Thompson and his wife, Patty, have three children and two grandchildren.

William J. Todd, IM 71
Dean Griffin Community Service Award

In his current role, William J. "Bill" Todd, IM 71, is a tireless crusader in the war against cancer but long before this, Bill was extensively involved in making Atlanta one of the premiere locations for research and economic development.

He was founding president of the Georgia Research Alliance, which he headed for 10 years until Governor Perdue asked him to serve in his administration. The nonprofit GRA has boosted the state's economy by bringing in more than $2 billion in federal and private funds by capitalizing on innovative university research and building technology ventures.

Todd worked to bring Georgia Tech and Emory University representatives to the table in 1987 to establish an inter-institutional collaboration. He now chairs the external advisory board of the Georgia Tech-Emory Biomedical Engineering Department.

In 2005, that inter-institutional collaboration resulted in a $19 million grant for the Emory-Georgia Tech Nanotechnology Center for Personalized and Predictive Oncology. The Biomedical Engineering program is now ranked in the top five in the United States. In December 2003, Governor Sonny Perdue asked Todd to leave his post as executive director of the Commission for a New Georgia and lead the Georgia Cancer Coalition as president and CEO.

"Survivors inspire us with their tenacity and hope. This is a hopeful enterprise. This is all about victory and hope and triumph," Todd told the Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine last year.

A founding partner of Encina Technology Ventures, Todd serves as the Alumni Association's Vice Chair for Roll Call and is on the boards of the Georgia Tech Foundation and Georgia Chamber of Commerce.

Charles R. Brown, BS 62
Joseph Mayo Pettit Alumni Distinguished Service Award

In the fall of 2005, Atlantic Station's transformation from abandoned steel mill to what the Atlanta Journal-Constitution called "one of the region's hottest addresses" was complete.

"We couldn't have done it without Charlie Brown," Atlantic Station partner Jim Jacoby told the Atlanta Business Chronicle when Brown retired from the project back in 2003.

Charles R. "Charlie" Brown, BC 62, has long been a leader in commercial development.

He is the recipient of the Urban Land Institute/Atlanta District's Frank Carter Community Achievement Award, the Council for Quality Growth's Button Gwinnett Award, Best in Atlanta/Visionary Award and the Governor's Award.

Joe Frank Harris gave Brown the Governor's Award, in part, for his contribution to economic development through Technology Park/Atlanta, which he followed with two more award-winning properties, John's Creek, a technology park in north Fulton County, and Lenox Park, a mixed-use complex in north Buckhead/Brookhaven. Brown retired as vice chairman of Technology Park/Atlanta at the end of 2000.

Brown has served the Institute as president of the Georgia Tech Foundation, as an Alumni Association trustee and as a member of the College of Architecture city and regional planning board, Alumni Association mentor program, Ivan Allen College campaign planning committee, Erskine Love Chair Task Force, Legislative Network and the Centennial Campaign Major Gifts Committee.

His civic service has included leadership roles in the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Midtown Alliance, Centennial Olympic Park Area, Buckhead Coalition, MARTA, Business Council of Georgia, Atlanta Arts Alliance and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra League.

Brown and his wife, Brenda, have two sons and live in Duluth, GA.

Ben J. Dyer, IE 70
Joseph Mayo Pettit Alumni Distinguished Service Award

As an entrepreneur, venture capitalist and investment banker, Ben Dyer has helped launch and build companies on the cusp of advanced technology. His resume is long, but his service to Georgia Tech is even longer.

Dyer, IE 70, is the president of Jackson Capital, an investment banking partnership affiliated with Jackson Securities. He is also the president of Innovations Publishing, which creates and distributes an electronic database of emerging private companies across the Southeast. And, he is a general partner of Cordova Intellimedia Ventures, which currently holds a portfolio of eleven technology investments.

He is on the board and is governance chair of Teamstaff, an allied health staffing company (NASDAQ: TSTF), and serves on the boards of Bank of Atlanta and

Previously he was chairman and CEO of Comsell Inc., a pioneering development firm from its founding in 1983 until 1988, when it was acquired by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. In 1977 Dyer was the founding president of Peachtree Software, which was sold to Management Science America in 1981.

Dyer was a member of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association's Committee of Twenty and was instrumental in founding the Advanced Technology Development Center, created in 1980 by the governor and the General Assembly.

Dyer has served as president of the Alumni Association (1986-87), as a board member of the Georgia Tech Foundation, chairman of the Industrial and Systems Engineering Advisory Board and as a board member and chairman of the Georgia Tech Research Corp (1987-2003). He is currently on the External Advisory Council of the Georgia Tech Research Institute.

Dyer was inducted into the Georgia Technology Hall of Fame in 1998, the College of Engineering Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni in 1996 and the ISyE Hall of Fame in 1993.

The father of two, Dyer and his wife, Dr. Celia Dyer, live in Atlanta.

Glen P. Robinson, Jr., PHYS 48, MS PHYS 50
Joseph Mayo Pettit Alumni Distinguished Service Award

In the early 1950s, six Georgia Tech research scientists and professors — including Glen Robinson, Phys 48, MS Phys 50 — chipped in $100 each and formed their own company to build and market antennas they had developed. The company was Scientific-Atlanta.

While still a student, Robinson worked as an associate research physicist at the Engineering Experiment Station, now the Georgia Tech Research Institute. He went on to work at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for two years before returning to Atlanta in 1952 to launch the company.

Robinson retired from Scientific-Atlanta as CEO in 1979 and moved on to form E-Tech, a manufacturer of energy-saving products now known as Crispaire.

He was named Georgia's Small Businessman of the Year in 1965 and the Georgia Business and Industry Association's Entrepreneur of the Year in 1981. Robinson was inducted into the Georgia Technology Hall of Fame in 1993.

Currently the chairman and CEO of LaserCraft Inc., Robinson is a trustee emeritus of the Georgia Tech Foundation, former chairman of the Georgia Tech Research Corp. board and a former Alumni Association trustee.

He and his wife, Jan, have five children and 12 grandchildren and live in Atlanta.

Alfred P. West, Jr., AE 64
Joseph Mayo Pettit Alumni Distinguished Service Award

Alfred P. "Al" West, Jr., AE 64, took a computer game and transformed it into a $600 million-a-year business.

West, chairman and CEO of SEI Investments Co., has shared his wealth. Just two of his gifts to Georgia Tech were a $2 million donation for the Alfred P. West Fund in Educational Technology and an $8 million pledge for construction of an undergraduate learning center.

The Oaks, PA. based company was founded when West and two classmates in the MBA program at the Wharton School of Business developed a computer strategy game to teach bank loan officers the art of commercial credit. The young entrepreneurs noticed that the bank trust departments were in need of automation and in 1971 introduced a system that streamlined accounting functions.

In 1972, the company name was changed to SEI Corp. West's two partners moved on to other ventures. He remained as the sole principal and took SEI public in 1981. It has consistently been named one of Fortune magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" and one of's "Best Value Bosses."

A member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity and Air Force ROTC at Tech, West has served the Institute as chairman of the Georgia Tech Advisory Board, trustee of the Georgia Tech Foundation and as a member of the Campaign for Georgia Tech's Steering Committee and Roll Call Phoenix Club Committee. He was named a distinguished alumnus by the College of Engineering in 2001.

West and his wife, Loralee, are the parents of three children.