University Honors 8 Distinguished Alumni

University Honors 8 Distinguished Alumni
The 2008 Distinguished Alumni

Cal Poly Pomona recently presented eight outstanding graduates with the Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor given by the Alumni Association. Now in its 48th year, the awards program recognizes alumni who demonstrate extraordinary professional achievement, community involvement and service to the university.

The 2008 recipients were celebrated at the Distinguished Alumni Awards banquet at the university's Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch on April 25. In addition, their names will be added to a perpetual plaque on the first floor of Building One.

The 2008 Distinguished Alumni are:

  • Kelly F. Duke (Class of '82, College of Agriculture) — Duke is vice president of pre-construction services at ValleyCrest Landscape Development, Inc., where he prepares budget estimates on construction projects for the company. His clients include Disney, the Getty Center and the Huntington Library. Duke shares his excitement for the field of landscaping with high school students as a volunteer for the national Architecture, Construction, and Engineering (ACE) Mentor Program at Van Nuys High School and the Pasadena School District. 
  • Kathy Lynn Tully (Class of '76 & '80, College of Business Administration) — Named one of the top 100 women Financial Advisors in the country by Barrons, Tully is a senior vice president and wealth advisor for Morgan Stanley. She is a member of the exclusive Chairmans Club, and manages more than 1,000 clients and assets totaling more than $450 million. She currently serves as chair of the San Antonio Hospital Foundation Board and as a member of Cal Poly Pomonas National Development Council, University Educational Trust and the Business Advisory Council. 
  • Rebecca Ritt Rhoads (Class of '80 & '86, College of Engineering) — Rhoads is the vice president and chief information officer of Raytheon Company, a multi-billion dollar technology leader specializing in defense, homeland security and government markets around the world. She is responsible for providing expert counsel to senior management and developing information technology strategy, functions and processes. Rhoads has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Corporate America Top 100 Influential Leaders and Top 50 Women in Technology. 
  • Ming Tai (Class of '00, College of Environmental Design) — A two-time Emmy Award-winning designer, Tai is the co-owner of MFactor, a full-service design studio specializing in motion design. MFactor brands shows and television networks, as well as produces commercials, public service announcements and promotions. Clients include NBC, FOX Entertainment and Warner Bros. MFactor has earned more than 20 industry awards for excellence in motion design and communication. Tai also teaches at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena where he helped develop the motion design curriculum. 
  • Jonathan D. Farrar(Class of '78, College of Letters Arts and Social Sciences) — Farrar works extensively in Latin America as a senior foreign service officer for the United States Department of State. His position as the principal deputy assistant secretary is an opportunity for him to serve the country as well as to have input in its foreign policy. His work has garnered him two State Department Superior Honor Awards and four Meritorious Honor Awards. 
  • Jim DeForge (Class of '75 & '80, College of Science) — As the director of the Bighorn Institute, DeForge has dedicated his career to the research and conservation of the endangered desert Peninsula bighorn sheep. He was recently recognized by the Bureau of Land Management for 25 years of outstanding research and recovery of the Peninsula bighorn sheep. Throughout his 30-year career, DeForge has worked to overcome legal restrictions and other challenges to promote the recovery of the sheep. 
  • Ian Blackburn (Class of '91, The Collins School of Hospitality Management) — Blackburn is a certified wine professional and industry spokesperson. Since 1995, Blackburn has worked to develop, a Web site devoted to the education, service and enjoyment of wine. With more than 200 events per year and 18,000 Web site subscribers, Blackburn has earned notoriety as an expert in his field. He has taught classes at Cordon Bleu, Cal Poly Pomona, UCLA and The Learning Annex, as well as private courses for corporate clients including Ernst and Young and Disney. 
  • Daniel D. Marsh (Class of '72, Athletics) — Marsh recently celebrated his 36-year anniversary with State Farm Insurance Companies. In each of his four years at Cal Poly Pomona, Dan Marsh lettered as a gymnast. He received all conference honors in 1970 and 1971. He remains active with the Bronco Athletics Association and has helped raise more than $2 million in scholarship money for student athletes. Additionally, he now chairs the Bronco Golf Classic. Marsh is a member of the State Farms Political Action Network and has served on their board of directors for the past 10 years.