PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University’s 100 years of graduate education will be celebrated April 16 when nationally-known sociologist James E. Blackwell and nine other graduate alumni are honored during a public event starting at 4 p.m. in Kimbrough Concert Hall.

The event is entitled “Celebration of Graduate Excellence.”

Blackwell, who lives in New Orleans, will be the 31st recipient of the WSU Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award, the university’s highest honor for an alumnus. During the event, he will receive a medallion and deliver an address, “Reflections of an Academic: Connections to the ‘Real World.’” The nine others will be recognized with WSU Graduate Alumni Achievement Awards, selected by their colleges.

Among nearly a dozen black graduate students in sociology recruited to WSU in the late 1940s and early 1950s to complete their doctorates, he earned his sociology Ph.D. in 1959.

Blackwell is an expert on minorities in higher education and social movements in black communities. His background includes serving nearly 20 years at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, where he chaired the department of anthropology and sociology, retiring 1989.

At the event, WSU Graduate School Dean Karen DePauw will recognize the nine other graduates, each of whom represent a different college.

Among the honorees are Edmund O. Schweitzer III, founder and president of Pullman’s Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, and Travis C. McGuire, veterinary immunologist of WSU College of Veterinary Medicine’s microbiology and pathology department. Schweitzer, representing the College of Engineering and Architecture, earned his doctorate in engineering science in 1977. McGuire, representing the College of Veterinary Medicine, earned his doctorate in veterinary pathology degree in 1968.

Others to be honored include U.S. Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics Joseph Jwu-Shan Jen, master’s in food science 1964, College of Agriculture and Home Economics, and Gary Brinson, master’s in business administration 1968, College of Business and Economics. He is founder and retired chair of the investment firm Brinson Partners.

Also honored will be Herbert M. Berg, education doctorate 1981, College of Education, executive director of the Association for the Advancement of International Education, and Michael Yellowbear Holloman, master of fine arts 1993, College of Liberal Arts. He is a fine arts associate professor at Seattle University.

Honorees also include Gary E. Isom, pharmacology/toxicology doctorate 1973, College of Pharmacy, research vice president and Graduate School dean at Purdue University; Gordon Hager, chemical physics (now called materials science) doctorate 1973, technical adviser at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.; and Janice M. Linehan, master of nursing 1999, College of Nursing. She is an acute care nurse practitioner for both Kennewick General Hospital and NW Practice Management, a Kennewick Public Hospital District subsidiary.