seal2002 Honorary Degree

Wayne Thomas Hockmeyer

Doctor Of Science

Wayne Thomas Hockmeyer has distinguished himself with outstanding scholarship and leadership in the development of vaccines and monoclonal antibodies, for extraordinary service to our country, and for outstanding accomplishments in business.

Wayne Thomas Hockmeyer

Following a 20-year career as a commissioned officer in the United States Army, including the last six years as chairman of the Department of Immunology at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Dr. Hockmeyer founded MedImmune Inc.

Born in LaCrosse, Wis., and raised in Evansville, Ind., Dr. Hockmeyer attended Purdue University, earning his bachelor's degree in 1966. After three months in his first job at Dow Chemical Company in Michigan, he was commissioned in the Army and, following airborne and special forces training, sent to Vietnam in 1968 with the 5th Special Forces Group.

The army opened the door for Dr. Hockmeyer to return to school, helping him earn his doctorate from the University of Florida in 1972. He went from Gainesville, Fla., to Washington, D.C., and Nairobi, Kenya, before returning to Washington in 1980 to the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. He rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel and during his 20-year military career authored many research papers with particular emphasis on the development of malaria vaccines. He also was awarded the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service medal and the Army Commendation medal. The Legion of Merit and Meritorious Service medals were both separately awarded twice.

Upon retirement from the Army in 1986, Dr. Hockmeyer once again re-entered the business world when he joined Praxis Biologics in Rochester, N.Y., as vice president of research and development. In 1988, he founded MedImmune Inc., in Gaithersburg, Md., becoming its president and chief executive officer. He was elected to serve on the board of directors, becoming its chairman in 1993. After nearly 13 years, Dr. Hockmeyer relinquished his position as chief executive officer in October 2000 while remaining chairman of the board.

Under Dr. Hockmeyer’s leadership, MedImmune became one of the five top biotechnology companies. With more than 1,400 employees, the company is focused on researching, developing and commercializing products to prevent or treat infectious disease, autoimmune disease and cancer. In 2001, the company generated $619 million in total revenue and $149 million in net earnings, representing a 40 percent compounded annual growth rate since the company turned profitable in 1998.

Dr. Hockmeyer is active in other leadership roles. He is a member of the board of directors of several public and private companies and the board of visitors of the University of Maryland Baltimore campus and the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute. He was twice appointed to the economic development commission by the governor of Maryland.