University Alumni Medallion Recipients for 1975

Posted May 09, 1975

Three outstanding Kansas State University alumni will receive the "University Alumni Medallion" -- the highest award given by the Kansas State University Alumni Association at Commencement May 16.

They are Dr. John L. Campbell of Chicago, veterinarian; Admiral Eugene J. Peltier of St. Louis, former consulting engineer; and Dr. Virginia Yapp Trotter of Arlington, Va., assistant secretary of education in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.

Recipients are selected for outstanding careers, contributions to society, and service to Kansas State University.

Dr. Campbell, a 1918 KSU graduate in veterinary medicine, studied at Tuskegee Institute in his native Alabama. He was influenced by Booker T. Washington, famed educator. Later Dr. Campbell was a protege of George Washington Carver, Tuskegee Institute scientist, and helped him develop a variety of uses for soy beans, peanuts, long staple cotton, and sweet potatoes.

Dr. Campbell taught at Voorhees Industrial School in South Carolina and later worked as a veterinarian in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He worked there nearly 40 years and retired in 1958. During that time he helped form the Federal Credit Club which later became the Bureau of Animal Industry Credit Union.

In 1924, Dr. Campbell helped found the Church of Good Shepherd, United Church of Christ, in Chicago. He was superintendent of the church school and was chairman of the board of deacons.

He also spent 40 years in financial leadership of the Morgan Park Savings and Loan Association, organized to furnish capital for home ownership in the black community.

Admiral Peltier was graduated from KSU in 1933 with a degree in civil engineering. He joined the Kansas Highway Commission in 1940. 

He joined the Navy and after 22 years of active duty became Chief of the Bureau of Yards and Docks and Chief of Civil Engineers with the rank of Rear Admiral. He was the second youngest to be appointed to that responsibility to maintain a $20-billion world-wide plant.

In 1962, he joined Sverdrup and Parcel and Associates of St. Louis, one of the nation's largest consulting engineering, architectural, and planning firms. He retired as president and chief executive officer.

He is a past national president of the Society of American Military Engineers and the American Road Builders Association.

The Admiral is a director of the St. Louis Regional Commerce and Growth Association; chairman of the Midland District of the Boy Scouts of America; member of the advisory board of St. John's Mercy Hospital; and active in civic affairs.

He was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree by KSU in 1961.

Dr. Trotter majored in home economics and received a degree in 1943. Later she earned a master's in 1948 from K-State, and a doctorate in 1963 from Ohio State University. She returned to KSU in 1973 for an honorary doctor of science.

Dr. Trotter, who began her professional career at the University of Utah, later joined the faculty at the University of Nebraska and was in charge of family economics. In 1955 she became head of home economics at the University of Vermont.

She returned to the University of Nebraska where she was director of the school of home economics and was appointed dean in 1970. Two years later she was named vice chancellor for academic services, the first woman to hold this position in any of the nation's land-grant schools.

Last year she was appointed assistant secretary for education in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and was the first woman to hold this government job in education.

Dr. Trotter has helped in the rehabilitation of physically handicapped person with homemaking responsibilities and in international home economics higher education with emphasis on programs in Turkey and Colombia.

She has served as vice president of the American Home Economics Association; is a member of the executive committee of the President's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped; has been co-chairman of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Research Task Force for Human Nutrition; and is a member of the board of directors for human ecology at Cornell University.