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2000 Distinguished Alumni Award Winners
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Robert E. Cook, a graduate of the Class of 1959 from Park City, UT. He is the former chairman, CEO and director of Systems Center, Inc., a New York Stock Exchange computer software company. He is an active philanthropist with an active interest in public education. He has endowed the Robert E. Cook Honors College at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a program for academically-gifted undergraduates that uses an interdisciplinary method to teach a "Great Questions" approach to Western Civilization. He holds a B.S. degree in mathematics from IUP and an MBA from George Washington University.

He is a director of webMethods, Inc., a provider of Internet oriented business-to-business products. This company dominates the market for XML (Extensible Markings Language), the "glue" that allows web sites to communicate with each other robustly.

In 1981, he founded Systems Center, Inc., established with the goal of developing and marketing software that enhanced IBM's operating system. He is also active in efforts to bring research-based educational practices to inner city and poor rural schools. He served as a regular army infantry officer with duty in Germany, the Pentagon and Vietnam and was awarded a Bronze Star and the Army Commendation Medal.


Paul C. Donnelly of the Class of 1940. He spent 19 years with NASA at the Kennedy Space Center where he served as test conductor, launch operations manager and associate director for operations in all the manned space programs from Mercury, Gemini and Apollo through Skylab and the Apollo Soyuz Test Project. He was awarded an electronic engineer equivalent degree in 1951 by the Civil Service Commission.

Following six years of active duty during World War II and eleven years as a Civil Service employee with the Navy, Paul C. Donnelly ‘40 became a spacecraft test conductor for NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration).

He served as launch operations manager in all of the manned space programs from Mercury, Gemini and Apollo through Skylab and the Apollo Soyuz Test Project. After helping to coordinate more than 30 manned space missions, he became manager of field operations for United States Boosters, Inc. (USBI), the operating unit of United Technologies' Norden Systems subsidiary quartered in Huntsville, AL.

Mr. Donnelly's distinguished service has been recognized through numerous awards, including the NASA Distinguished Service medal for the Apollo program, Exceptional Service medals for Apollo 8, Apollo 11 first moon landing and shuttle approach and landing tests and the NASA Outstanding Leadership medal. His name has become legendary in the annals of the space program.

He attended classes at the University of Virginia extension school and completed numerous Navy electronics and guided missile schools.


Theodore H. Kattouf of the Class of 1964. This Penn State graduate is currently the United States Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates in 1998. He entered foreign service in August of 1972 and has served in a number of Middle East positions.

He earned a B.A. degree from Penn State University in political science and also attended Princeton University. He joined the Foreign Service in 1972 after serving in the United States Army infantry where he attained the rank of captain.

Ambassador Kattouf has been assigned to a variety of Middle East locations including Kuwait, Lebanon, Tunisia, Syria and Iraq. His postings have always been to countries where there is either a civil war taking place or an ongoing conflict with a neighboring country - conflicts that have implications for both the United States and the host countries.

He speaks both English and Arabic fluently. His Middle Eastern ancestry gives him an edge among his American peers in the region.

During his career, Ambassador Kattouf has received two Meritorious Honor Awards, three Senior Perfor-mance Awards, and one Presidential Honor Award. He was also named as Deputy Chief of Mission of the Year in 1996.


Admiral James M. Loy of the class of 1960, the 21st Commandant of the United States Coast Guard. Admiral Loy graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1964 and has held numerous leadership positions during his military career. He earned a B.S. degree in engineering from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and attended post graduate school at Wesleyan University in Middleton, Connecticut, and the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, RI, earning Masters degrees in history/government and public administration. He also served as an intern at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Previously he served as Commander of the Atlantic Area and Commander of the U.S. Maritime Defense Zone Atlantic. He has commanded four Coast Guard Cutters including the POINT LOMAS on combat patrols in Vietnam.

The Admiral's awards include four Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medals, the Defense Superior Service Medal, two Legion of Merit awards, the Bronze Star with Combat "V", the Meritorious Service Medal, five Coast Guard Commendation Medals, the Coast Guard Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon and other unit and campaign awards.


Commander Cynthia B. Piccirilli, MD, a 1975 Altoona High grad who is the head of the Department of Neurosurgery at the U. S. Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, VA - the busiest military neurosurgical department in the world. She is one of fewer than 100 board-certified women neurosurgeons in the United States. She holds a B.S. in biology from LaRoche College in Pittsburgh and earned her M.D. at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD.

She graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in biology from La Roche College in Pittsburgh and received a doctorate in medicine from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Services in Bethesda, MD.

Because of her exceptional intellect, talent and skill, she was offered the only neurosurgery residency training position in the United States Navy while still a Public Health Service officer.

As a resident, Commander Piccirilli was awarded the Neil Holland Award, a special award granted by the interns to the resident who was most instructive to them during training. She subsequently transferred to the Navy, to most fully utilize her training and skills and his risen to the rank of Commander. Both a scholar and an author, she has written several journal articles.


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