sealPurdue News

April 5, 2002

Purdue ROTC Hall of Fame induction set for April 20

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Ten Purdue alumni will be inducted into the Purdue University Reserve Officer's Training Corps Hall of Fame on Saturday, April 20.

The induction ceremony, which honors distinguished graduates from the Army, Navy and Air Force ROTC programs, will be at 10 a.m. at the Purdue Armory. The inductees include:

• Retired Col. Densel K. Acheson (Air Force), class of 1961. A native of Lafayette, Acheson flew reconnaissance aircraft in the Vietnam War from 1967-1972. His combat record includes more than 100 missions with approximately 1,000 hours of combat time. Since 1990, Acheson has served as an instructor at the Omaha Aviation Institute at the University of Nebraska.

• John K. Knapp Jr. (Army), class of 1958. Knapp served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from 1958-1970, when he retired as a captain. Since then he has served as a leader in the product-manufacturing industry. Knapp is currently president and CEO of General Mechatronics Corp. in Farmingdale, N.Y. The firm manufactures aircraft structures and assemblies for commercial and military use.

• Joseph S. Alford (Navy), class of 1966. Alford served on the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea during the Vietnam War, after which he resumed his studies for a doctorate in chemical engineering at the University of Cincinnati. He also served in the Naval Reserve where he led the design and implementation of improvements in war-gaming capability at the Cincinnati Naval Reserve Service. Since 1972, Alford has worked to improve the biological processes at Eli Lilly and Co. in Indianapolis, from which he has received every major technology award.

• David L. Miers (Army), class of 1970. Miers served in the Army from 1970-1972 as an air defense artillery officer, a food and agriculture officer and a battery executive officer. After completing his military service, Miers returned to Greensburg, Ind., where he became the fifth generation to operate his 1,800-acre family farm. He also served as deputy commissioner of agriculture under Indiana Gov. Evan Bayh. Miers currently serves on several boards of directors and remains active with Purdue University.

• Retired Col. Mark N. Brown (Air Force and NASA), class of 1973. Brown of Beavercreek, Ohio, began his Air Force career as a fighter pilot. After further studies, he became an astronaut in 1984. Brown served on the Challenger space shuttle accident investigation team. He also has successfully completed two space flights during which he deployed a classified defense satellite and an atmospheric research satellite. Brown retired from the military in 1993 after serving as deputy chief for the Space Station and Exploration Office. He currently serves as director of Wire Integrity Programs for General Research Corp. International, where he works with the armed forces on the aging of their aircraft electrical systems. Brown also remains active in his community and speaks to an average of 2,000 people per year on his space flight experiences.

• Retired Col. John R. Pratt (Air Force), class of 1965. Pratt served as an aircraft maintenance officer from 1965-1972, during which time he served a tour of duty in Vietnam. He joined the Air Force Reserve in 1977, when he became the manager of the Elmendorf AFB Aero Club and president of Pratt Aviation Services Inc., which provides airplane maintenance, inspections and flight instruction. Pratt, of Anchorage, Alaska, also serves as the field director for the Seaplane Pilots Association for Alaska, an FAA Accident Prevention Counselor and director of the Alaskan Airman's Association.

• Retired Rear Adm. Melvin H. Chiogioji (Navy), class of 1961. Upon graduation, Chiogioji served on active duty for five years, after which he joined the reserves and completed several reserve assignments. These include overseeing all Seabee operations in the Atlantic and Mediterranean regions. He retired from the Naval Reserves in 1993. Chiogioji, who lives in the Washington, D.C., area, currently serves as president and CEO of MELE Associates, a consulting firm that provides engineering and technology services to both federal and private sector organizations.

• Donald A. Roach (Navy), class of 1952. Roach served as chief engineer aboard the destroyer USS Monssen, upon which he toured Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Caribbean. After his service in the Navy, he received an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration and began a 33-year career with Brown and Sharpe Manufacturing Co. in North Kingstone, RI. In 1980, he was named president and CEO of the company, which manufactures coordinate measuring machines. He retired in 1990, after which he became the majority shareholder and chairman of Kilburn Isotronics, Inc. Roach has since also acquired Technical Components Inc. and Isotronics Inc. He is the founder of the Green Hills School in Ann Arbor, Mich. He has received several awards from Purdue, including an honorary doctorate of engineering in 1995.

• Col. Marvin A. Evens (Air Force), class of 1956. Evens first served on active duty as an air defense interceptor controller. He went on to serve during the Cuban missile crisis and flew 108 combat missions in Vietnam. In 1963, he received a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Purdue, and, in 1968, a doctor of medicine degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine. Evens went on to serve as a flight surgeon and commander of the 434th Tactical Hospital and the 930th Medical Squadron. As a civilian, he served as an anesthesiologist for Community Hospitals in Indianapolis. He also served as president of a John Deere dealership and owner of Walnut Creek Farms, which operated in Putnam, Tippecanoe and Clinton counties in Indiana. Evens died in 1992 when equipment on his aircraft malfunctioned.

• Retired Col. Theodore M. Stults II (Army), class of 1959. Upon graduation, Stults served a four-year tour in active military service. He went on to serve as a National Guard officer at several military schools. He retired in 1988 as chief of staff of the 112th Medical Brigade, Ohio National Guard, where he achieved the rank of colonel. Upon retirement, Stults began an advertising and sales career with Buckeye Feed Mills Inc., where he became chairman of the board in 1997. He also serves on the board of directors of Banc Services Corp. in Orriville, Ohio, the Flood Company in Hudson, Ohio, and Innovation Biotechnologies International Inc. of Niagara Falls, N.Y. Stults, of Canton, Ohio, also was recognized by the U.S. secretary of commerce in 2000 for outstanding leadership, commitment to excellence and selfless service as a member of the U.S. Department of Commerce Northern Ohio District Export Council.

The Hall of Fame was established in 1974 to honor graduates who exhibit the leadership, integrity, moral courage and self discipline which the ROTC program seeks to develop. Originally established for graduates of the Army ROTC program only, the Hall of Fame was expanded in 1999 to include distinguished alumni of Purdue's Navy and Air Force ROTC programs.

Nominees were evaluated based upon their service to the nation, service to the community and outstanding leadership in the fields of business, government, education or other professional fields.

The Hall of Fame currently includes 137 former Purdue ROTC students. Their photos are displayed on the Hall of Fame wall on the first floor of the Purdue Armory.

CONTACT: David Tate, nominating committee chairman, (765) 494-1392,

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: Full biographies of the inductees are available by contacting Marydell Forbes at the Purdue News Service, (765) 496-7704,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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