75th Anniversary Celebration

75th Anniversary Celebration

The Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering celebrated its 75th Anniversary with a full slate of activities on the weekend of November 6, 2009.

Friday morning activities included student-led tours of Weil Hall and campus followed by lunch at the President’s house. A student panel answered questions from alumni about “Life at UF in 2009.” The afternoon was highlighted by three parallel sessions covering Research, Entrepreneurship and Executive Leadership, respectively. Each panel was filled with alumni.

The day culminated with a reception and banquet in Hilton Conference Center just off campus. Upon entry, alumni, faculty, emeriti faculty, students and guests were greeted by slideshows of photographs of the department, campus, faculty and students over the years. Many of these were acquired from the Smathers’ Library special collection and can be found on this website.
After dinner was served, the evening’s events got underway with a compilation of video clips of alumni, emeriti faculty and current faculty remembering the Department and why it was, or is, so special.

Erin Wallace of Walt Disney World, serving as the Master of Ceremonies for the evening, then welcomed special guests and Joseph Hartman, current Chair of the Department. Hartman reviewed the state of the department, including its current research thrusts, while reflecting back on its roots – introducing Ms. Wilma Andrews Smith, the first female graduate of the Department in 1959, and Dr. Mario Padron, the first Ph.D. graduate in 1969.

hartman wallace wilma padron

Jospeh Hartman

Erin Wallace

Wilma Smith

Mario Padron

Hartman then turned the program over to Mr. Roger Madariaga, Chair of the ISE Advisory Board. Madariaga introduced the ISE Alumni Leadership Award, which is to be given to deserving alumni on an annual basis. He then proceeded, with the help of other board members, to introduce the inaugural class of Major General John Alison (B.S. IE 1936), Hjalma Johnson (B. IE 1958), John Dasburg (B.S. IE 1966), Linda Parker Hudson (B.S. SE 1972), Louis Martin-Vega (Ph.D. 1975), and Glenn Renwick (M.S. ISE 1978). Each winner briefly reflected on their time at the University of Florida. Biographies of each winner and a description of the award can be found here.

alison dasburg1 hudson

John R. Alison

John Dasburg

Linda Parker Hudson




Louis Martin-Vega

Hjalma Johnson

Glenn Renwick

Erin Wallace returned to the stage to congratulate the inaugural ISE “Hall of Fame” members and remind the alumni to keep in touch and stay active with their alma mater. She then turned the program over to Natalie Keller, former President of the student IIE Chapter at UF, who closed the program with a student-made video.

In all, well over 200 students, alumni, faculty, former faculty and guests attended the event. By all accounts, it was a tremendous success!

As if that wasn’t enough, most attendees, and a few new ones, showed up for a tailgate sponsored by the College of Engineering in the late afternoon on Saturday and watched the Gators beat the Commodores of Vanderbilt University. A few alumni even made it out to Lake Wauburg for a wrap-up picnic with the IIE Student Chapter. What a weekend!

If you are interested in making a donation to the department, you may do so electronically (Industrial and Systems Engineering Online Giving). Donations may also be sent to the department (303 Weil Hall Gainesville, FL 32611). Please make all checks out to the “University of Florida Foundation.” Your support is greatly appreciated.