Tennessee Tech News

Outstanding TTU Alumni and Friends Honored

Published Monday Oct 25, 1999

Outstanding service and achievement set apart nine distinguished alumni and friends of Tennessee Technological University who will be honored during the university's homecoming festivities.

Tennessee Tech's Alumni Association will honor the 1999 awards recipients at a ceremony and reception Friday, Oct. 29, in the Roaden University Center's Multipurpose Room. The public is invited to the reception, which begins at 4:30 p.m., and the ceremony, which begins at 5:15 p.m.

This year's Distinguished Alumnus Award winners are John M. Clayton, Johnny Hayes and Allen A. McCampbell Jr. Outstanding Service Award winners are Virginia and Louis Johnson, Elizabeth and James Murphy and Carl Edwards. The Outstanding Young Alumnus recipient is James Harris.

John Clayton

John Clayton, senior vice president of Schering-Plough HealthCare Products, delivered an invigorating shot to Tennessee Tech's chemistry department last year.

Clayton, along with Schering-Plough, helped TTU's chemistry department initiate a new endowment, the Chelate Fund, to upgrade and modernize instrumentation used in undergraduate chemistry laboratories. Schering-Plough also donated $113,000 worth of used research-grade instrumentation to the department last year.

A 1968 TTU chemistry graduate, he received his doctorate in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Tennessee Medical Units. Before joining Schering-Plough in 1974, Clayton worked for the FDA's National Center for Toxicological Research.

In service to TTU, Clayton serves on the College of Arts and Sciences' Board of Visitors and is a member of the new Health Sciences Preprofessional Advisory Board.

Johnny Hayes

Johnny Hayes serves in the country's political spotlight as Vice President Al Gore's national finance chairman for the Gore 2000 presidential campaign. A native of Alcoa, Tenn., Hayes graduated from TTU in 1962.

Before joining Gore 2000 in January 1999, Hayes was director of the Tennessee Valley Authority. He began serving on the TVA Board of Directors in 1993 following his appointment by President Bill Clinton.

Hayes once served as commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economics and Community Development. Before entering public service, Hayes was president of Newman, Hayes and Dixon, an independent insurance agency he founded in Hendersonville, Tenn., in 1964.

Allen A. McCampbell Jr.

Crediting the enjoyable time he spent attending Tennessee Tech, Allen McCampbell still feels a connection to the university and its successes.

McCampbell was an integral part of TTU's "Sharing the Vision" Campaign, serving on the National Steering Committee. His contribution to the university includes gifts for dormitory renovations, scholarships and the College of Business Administration Foundation.

A 1965 TTU business graduate, he is a past recipient of the Louis Johnson Outstanding Alumnus Award in Business and a past president of COBAF. He and his wife, Suzanne, established the Jesse Mallory Scholarship Endowment in honor of her father.

After more than 30 years with American General Life and Accident Co., McCampbell serves as senior vice president of administration, responsible for insurance operations and the insurance services department.

Louis and Virginia Johnson

Louis Johnson, the namesake of the university's Johnson Hall, joined TTU's Department of Business in 1936. Except for a couple of years spent at East Tennessee State Teachers College and with the United States Steel Co., Johnson remained at Tech, retiring as the dean of the College of Business Administration in 1975 and as a faculty member in 1978.

Virginia Johnson took her first dance class on campus in 1915 at age six and graduated high school from Tennessee Polytechnic Institute in 1927. She returned to campus for classes and worked as President Q.M. Smith's secretary in the late 1930s. She graduated from TPI in 1944 and taught business communications for 23 years before retiring in 1975. Throughout her career, she played the organ for outdoor commencements and for ceremonies in Derryberry Hall and Hooper Eblen Center.

The Johnsons' contributions to excellence at the university continue through two endowed College of Business scholarships and the college's Louis Johnson Outstanding Alumnus Award.

James and Elizabeth Murphy

As TTU's dean of women for more than two decades, Elizabeth Murphy served as dorm mother, adviser, confidante and disciplinarian to hundreds of young women. Mostly she served as a friend, prompting a delegation of honor students to ask that a dormitory be named in her honor. In the fall of 1971, TTU dedicated Murphy Hall.

Murphy and her husband, James, Cookeville's assistant postmaster for 37 years and a 1937 TTU agriculture graduate, fully funded an Elizabeth S. Murphy Scholarship Endowment in 1992. The endowment supports scholarships for women who show financial need and academic achievement.

Carl Edwards

Carl Edwards' first ties to Tennessee Tech came through his two sons -- Scott and Richard -- both TTU graduates. After Richard's death in 1988, Edwards turned to the university to honor his son and demonstrate his appreciation for excellence in education.

Edwards, owner of Micro Metals Inc., an auto parts and power tools manufacturing company with 100 employees and $10 million in sales, established the $50,000 Richard K. Edwards endowed scholarship in engineering. He has also committed to endowing a business and education scholarship.

In other service to TTU, Edwards sponsors six annual scholarships and often hosts engineering students and faculty members in his plant for tours and class projects.

James Harris

IBM, Coca-Cola, and Turner Network Television all turned to Tennessee Tech alumnus James Harris when they wanted a new presence on the world wide web.

As chief operating officer and founding partner of Elemental Interactive Design and Development in Atlanta, Harris has led his company to the top of the web and interactive design services field. A pioneer in interactive design, Harris took the concepts of bringing annual reports, investor reports and television's on-line presence to an actual web-based service.

Under his oversight, IBM produced its first interactive annual report. Coca-Cola called on his services to produce an interactive site, and TNT overhauled many of its sights under Harris' direction.

Working with the alumni relations office, Harris plans to be instrumental in forming the first TTU black alumni group in Atlanta.

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