Alumnus’ gift establishes award for School of Engineering

February 20, 2018

DeBow Freed, who earned a nuclear engineering degree from The University of New Mexico, has donated $50,000 to establish the Dr. Glenn Whan Memorial Award, which will be used to benefit students, faculty, and staff in the School of Engineering.

The first award will be given on May 3, 2018, at the School of Engineering annual awards ceremony. All current and former faculty, staff, and students in the School are eligible for this award and will be considered through a nomination process. Winners will be selected by a committee appointed by the dean, based on the following criteria:

• Community/school service
• Professional/academic achievements/recognition
• Participation in professional/academic organizations
• Reflections of Dr. Whan’s qualities of strong commitment to teaching and to students — exceptionally high standards, dedication, and scientific excellence.

Preference will be given to candidates from the Department of Nuclear Engineering.

Glenn Whan was a former professor of chemical and nuclear engineering at UNM. He was department chairman for 11 years and then became dean of the School. He died in 2003.

Freed graduated from West Point and served in the Army for seven years in Japan, Germany, Iran and the Middle East, Korea, and was aide and assistant to the commander of the 17th Airborne Division in the U.S., and to the head of the U.S. advisory mission to Iran and the Middle East in Iran.

He earned a master’s degree at the University of Kansas and Ph.D. at The University of New Mexico in nuclear engineering. He was chief of the nuclear branch of the Defense Atomic Support Agency and later was assigned to West Point to help modernize the physics department and initiate an academic major in nuclear engineering.

Freed was also dean/provost of Mount Union College in Ohio for five years; president of Monmouth College in Illinois for five years; president of Ohio Northern University for 20 years; and president of the University of Findlay, in Ohio for seven years. During his three decades of academic service, he presented diplomas to over 20,000 students.

A room was dedicated to him at West Point in 2012 and he is included the book, West Point Leadership, Profiles of Courage, as one of 180 West Point graduates since its founding, who are characterized as having made outstanding contributions to society.

To nominate someone you know, please use the online nomination form.