COOKEVILLE – This year four Tech alumni joined the more than 200 alumni named as Outstanding Alumni Awards recipients since the alumni recognition program began in 1975.
Tennessee Tech‘s Alumni Association solicits and evaluates nominations in four categories. The 2021 recipients are businessman Camron Rudd, Outstanding Young Alumnus Award; Tech instructor Susan G. Wells, Outstanding Service Award; Tech donor and businessman Scott Edwards, Outstanding Philanthropy Award; and Tennessee Tech Board of Trustees member Fred Lowery, Distinguished Alumnus Award.
“This is the most important event of the year for the Alumni Association,” said Brandon Boyd, Director of the Crawford Alumni Center at Tennessee Tech. “It’s exciting to honor these individuals who are representing their alma mater so well.”
From serving as president of Tennessee Tech’s German Club and receiving a degree in German to serving as the president of a German company, Rudd’s Tech education and experience helped prepare this young alumnus for extraordinary success. Rudd graduated in 2005 with a dual major and received a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering and a Bachelor of Arts degree in foreign languages, concentrating on German.
Following graduation, Rudd began working at Hörmann, a family-owned entry systems manufacturer with more than 40 factories worldwide. He has held progressively responsible positions with the company, from engineering manager to vice president of operations. In 2015, he became the company president of Hörmann, LLC, and from 2016 to 2020, led the company into a new phase of growth by overseeing the site selection and construction of a new 325,000-square-foot office and factory in Sparta, Tenn. Hörmann LLC currently has two factories and has grown to include eight sales centers. Rudd is married to Miranda (Russell) Rudd, also a Tech alum with a degree in sociology. They have two children and live in Cookeville.
With more than 30 years of experience in the business world, including several years as chief information officer, Wells brings unique experience into her role as a lecturer in Tech’s Department of Decision Sciences and Management. Her classes include business intelligence, conflict management and negotiation, organizational leadership and computer applications in business. She oversees departmental internships and is the director of the Governor’s School for Business Innovation and Technology. She also serves on the information technology services committee, student affairs committee, Tech’s Hall of Fame committee and the experiential learning requirement task force for the college. She received the Curtis Kinslow Excellence in Teaching Award in 2017 and the College of Business Service Award in 2019.
Wells graduated from Tech in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in business management and in 1995 with an MBA. She earned her juris doctorate degree from the Nashville School of Law.
Wells is married to Stuart “Doc” Wells, a professor of decision sciences and management at Tech; and their daughter, Whitney, is a 2013 psychology Tech graduate. The Wells family can often be seen at Tech sporting events, cheering on Golden Eagle student-athletes.
Edwards, a 1987 graduate in business management, made his first gift to Tech just two years after graduating. Since then, he has funded numerous scholarships and academic programs including the Richard K. Edwards Memorial Scholarship Endowment, Richard K. Edwards Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Endowment, Virginia Edwards Nursing Scholarship and Edwards Physiology Laboratory Endowment. Each of these scholarships is named in honor of a family member. In 2016, Edwards donated a new advanced patient simulator known as a SimMan to the Whitson-Hester School of Nursing’s Simulation Center and named the SimMan Earl in memory of his grandfather.
Edwards began overseeing the operation of his family’s business in 1988. Micro Metals Inc. is a producer of high-volume, engineered automotive component parts for transmissions and differentials and has a worldwide customer base. He also served on the board of directors, including time as chair, of Progressive Savings Bank until its merger with SmartBank, and he operates Kade’s Creek Cattle Company and Top of the Hill Properties in Pickett County. Edwards is married to Mary Alice (Choate) Edwards, also a Tech alum in accounting. They have one son and live in Jamestown, Tenn.
Lowery, a 1994 mechanical engineering graduate, has developed strong operating teams, launched innovative new products, acquired businesses and successfully led organizations for more than 25 years while working for several Fortune 500 companies.
In his current role as senior vice president and president for Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Customer Channels business, Lowery oversees Fisher Scientific, the company’s industry-leading channel business for laboratory supplies used in academic and government research. Fisher Scientific serves customers around the world by offering more than 2.5 million products globally, including lab consumables, instruments and equipment, safety products, chemicals and life sciences reagents through a strong sales network and industry-leading website.
Lowery is an advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion and social responsibility both within the company and externally. He is the founder and executive sponsor of The JUST Project at Thermo Fisher, an initiative named after biologist Everett Ernest Just. As part of this project, Thermo Fisher donated $25 million in equipment and solutions to enable COVID-19 testing at historically Black colleges and universities and committed to hire 500 HBCU graduates over a three-year period. Lowery is also one of the founders of the New Commonwealth Racial Equity and Social Justice Fund to support charities that provide services to Black and Brown communities across Massachusetts.
Lowery founded the Lowery Family Fund which supports organizations and initiatives focused on community service, philanthropy and the arts and established three scholarship endowments at Tech: the Fred M. Lowery Award Scholarship, Chi Lambda Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Scholarship and the Dr. Leo McGee Scholarship Award. The fund also supports Project GRAD in Knoxville, Tenn. Lowery is a member of the DuPont Board of Directors, Boston Renaissance Charter Public Schools Board of Trustees, Boston Medical Center Board of Directors and The Boule Foundation. At Tech, he serves on both the university’s board of trustees and its foundation board. A Knoxville native, Lowery has four children and currently lives in Boston, Mass.
This year’s alumni award recipients were honored during the Evening of Excellence ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 13, that coincided with the university’s annual homecoming festivities. For more about the Crawford Alumni Center, visit tntech.edu/univadv/cac/.