Brainerd High School graduates who have had distinguished careers in pharmacy education, management education, U.S. Department of Energy administration and reproductive physiology research have been selected for the Brainerd High School Distinguished Hall of Fame.
Honored at the May 14-15 event will be:
* Jon Thorson, class of 1982, associate professor of pharmacy in the graduate school of the University of Wisconsin.
* Marilyn Koering, class of 1956, professor emeritus in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Care Sciences in Washington, D.C.
* Alex G. "Gene" Fremling, class of 1949, retired Department of Energy administrator.
* Roger C. Vergin, class of 1955, retired business administration professor.
Jon Thorson teaches classes and has a major role at the University of Wisconsin as supervisor of 12 graduates and post-graduates in his research with molecular transporters that help drugs enter cells. His work includes his research team at Sloan/Kettering & Cornell University in New York.
Thorson's proposals as an independent researcher have generated almost $3 million for him and his institutional employers.
In demand as a lecturer, he recently was honored as one of three outstanding scientists in cancer research by the Rita Allen Foundation and he was one of five chemists honored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Thorson received his bachelor's degree in chemistry from Augsburg in 1986 and his doctorate in organic chemistry from the University of Minnesota in 1993. He held post-doctoral appointment at the University of California-Berkeley from 1993-1996 and was an assistant member of Memorial Sloan/Kettering Cancer Research and assistant professor in graduate medicine at Cornell from 1996-2001.
Marilyn Koering received her bachelor's degree in biology and chemistry in 1960 at the College of St. Scholastica, her master's degree in anatomy in 1963 from the University of Wisconsin and her doctorate in anatomy in 1967 from the University of Wisconsin. She did post-doctoral work at the University of Wisconsin in 1968-69.
This is the way her resume characterizes her primary research interest:
"General focus is to correlate structural-functional relationships in the female reproductive system of rabbits and primates, utilizing light and electron microscopy, image analysis and hormonal determinations following normal and experimental induced activity in the ovary."
Alex G. "Gene" Fremling was the co-valedictorian in the class of 1949. The class vice president, he was voted Most Studious Boy and Most Likely to Succeed.
He graduated from Carleton College in 1953 cum laude with a bachelor's degree in government and international relations. He graduated with a master's in political science from the University of Minnesota in 1957 and served in the Army from 1954-55. He attended one semester at the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis before being drafted.
He started working in programs with the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and successor federal agencies in 1957. His career with the energy department included serving as manager of the Richland, Wash., operations office from 1973-1984. He retired in 1996 after working in several executive positions with the Electric Power Research Institute in Palo Alto, Calif.
Roger C. Vergin was co-valedictorian and senior class president at BHS. He was named Most Likely to Succeed and Best Writer. He received his doctorate in business administration at the University of Minnesota in 1964, his master's degree in industrial management from the U of M in 1962 and his bachelor's degree in business administration and industrial engineering from the U of M in 1959.
Retired now, he served as business administration professor at Pennsylvania State University, Simon Fraser University, University of Washington and the University of California-Berkeley. He was an instructor at the University of Minnesota. Under his directorship, the master of management program at Penn State University grew from 180 to 600 students to become the largest of the university's 151 graduate programs.
The author of many books, he served as financial adviser-business manager for actor Marlon Brando in 1973-74. That was a full-time position and included building a resort on Brando's island of Tetiaroa near Tahiti. It also led to a 1997 book, "Brando -- with his Guard Down."
The Brainerd High School Distinguished Achievement Hall of Fame is sponsored by Brainerd High School, Brainerd Public Schools Foundation, Brainerd Rotary Club and the Brainerd Dispatch.
Members of the selection committee chaired by Jim Hunt, retired high school principal, are Jerry Walseth, Arnold "Casey" Stengel, Don Ryan, Howard "Jiggs" Blanck, Ruth Gmeinder, Kevin Thesing, Karen Owen, Steve Razidlo, Don O'Brien, Terry McCollough and Roy Miller.
People who have been graduated from BHS for at least seven years and have gone on to distinguished careers are eligible for the hall of fame. Nominations may be made with Superintendent Jerry Walseth.
Tickets for the public for the hall of fame dinner and program cost $10. They may be purchased at the superintendent's office at Washington School, new home of the district's administrative offices, at Eighth and Oak.
The Sunday, May 15, program includes a social at 5 p.m. and dinner at 5:30 p.m. in the high school cafeteria. The next night, at the annual Recognition Night honoring the academic achievement of the graduating seniors, the new hall of fame members will be officially inducted. That event starts at 6:30 p.m.
The hall of fame inductees also will be invited to attend classes on Monday before the Recognition Night program to share their expertise in the various fields.
ROY MILLER can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5855.
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