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Edwards, New York Resident Lois Graham Inducted into Rensselaer's Alumni Hall of Fame

October 3, 2003

Edwards, New York Resident Lois Graham Inducted into Rensselaer's Alumni Hall of Fame

Troy, N.Y. - Edwards, New York resident Lois Graham, whose academic and professional career paved the way for women and minority engineers, was recently inducted into Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Alumni Hall of Fame. Just 48 other Rensselaer alumni - including George W. G. Ferris, civil engineer and inventor of the Ferris wheel; Raymond S. Tomlinson, inventor of network electronic mail; and Ivar Giaever, research scientist and Nobel Laureate - and only three other women have been inducted into the university's Alumni Hall of Fame.

Graham was one of the first two women to earn a degree at Rensselaer, and she did so in an accelerated schedule brought on by World War II.

Graham graduated from Rensselaer in 1946, and continued her studies at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), where she embarked on a lifetime of contributions to engineering education. Her career at IIT was one of establishing "firsts" for women, particularly for women in the engineering profession. She was the first woman at IIT to earn advanced degrees in mechanical engineering, the first woman in the U.S. to earn a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, and the first woman to receive a fellow award from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, honoring her for contributions as an educator in thermodynamics and cryogenics. A lifelong mentor and role model, she established IIT's model program for Women in Science and Engineering, and its Minorities in Engineering Program.

Graham and eight other alumni were inducted into Rensselaer's Alumni Hall of Fame during a ceremony on Sept.19. Other inductees include: Howard P. Isermann, Class of 1942, sunscreen developer and Rensselaer trustee; Robert Resnick, world-famous physics educator and professor emeritus at Rensselaer; Myles N. Brand, Class of 1964, NCAA president and leader in higher education; and J. Christopher Jaffe, Class of 1949, international acoustician. Alumni inducted posthumously are astronaut John L. Swigert Jr., Class of 1965; engineer and inventor Walter Irving, Class of 1896; and geologist Douglass Houghton , Class of 1829.

About the Rensselaer Alumni Hall of Fame
In 1995, the Rensselaer Alumni Association established its Alumni Hall of Fame to preserve and celebrate the long and exceptional heritage of Rensselaer's distinguished graduates. This year's inductees to the Alumni Hall of Fame bring to 49 the total number of members. Since its founding in 1824, Rensselaer has graduated alumni whose contributions to society - from 19th century railroad and bridge builders to today's information technology entrepreneurs - have changed the world. For more information, visit the Hall of Fame at

Contact: Caroline Jenkins
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About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, 32 research centers, more than 145 academic programs, and a dynamic community made up of more than 7,600 students and more than 100,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include more than 145 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration.