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Gary May

Electrical engineer and academic administrator Gary Stephen May was born on May 17, 1964 in St. Louis, Missouri. He was one of two children born to Warren May, Jr., a postal clerk, and Gloria Hunter, a teacher. As a high school student, May participated in a summer program called “Developing Engineering Students” at McDonnell Douglass Corporation in St. Louis, Missouri for three summers. He was subsequently employed by the company as a cooperative education student. May received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1985, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California at Berkeley in 1987 and 1991, respectively.

May joined the George Tech College Engineering in 1991 as a member of the microelectronics research group. In 1992, May created the Summer Undergraduate Research in Engineering/Science (SURE) program with a grant from the National Science Foundation. May is also the co-founder and director of the Facilitating Academic Careers in Engineering and Sciences (FACES) program, for which he has received over $10 million in funding from NSF to increase the number of African American Ph.D. degree graduates produced by Georgia Institute of Technology. In 2001, May was named Motorola Foundation Professor, and was appointed associate chair for Faculty Development in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). Then, in 2005, May was promoted to Steve W. Chaddick Chair of ECE; and, in 2011, he became Dean of the College of Engineering at Georgia Tech.

Throughout his career, May has published numerous articles in academic journals, including Journal of Applied Physics, the International Journal of Materials and Manufacturing Processes. He also served as editor-in-chief of IEEE Transactions on Semiconductor Manufacturing. In 2006, May was the co-author of Fundamentals of Semiconductor Manufacturing and Process Control; and in 2003, he co-authored Fundamentals of Semiconductor Fabrication. May is also the recipient of professional and academic awards. In 2004, May received Georgia Tech’s Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award, as well as the Outstanding Minority Engineer Award from the American Society of Engineering Education. In 2006, he received the Mentor Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). For his academic contributions, May was named a fellow of the AAAS, the IEEE, and received an honorary doctorate from the Universidad Latina de Panama.

May and his wife, LeShelle Mary, live in Atlanta, Georgia with their two daughters, Simon and Jordan.

Gary Stephen May was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 10, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.207

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/10/2012

Last Name

May

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Stephen

Schools

University of California, Berkeley

Georgia Institute of Technology

First Name

Gary

Birth City, State, Country

St. Louis

HM ID

MAY07

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beaches

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Interview Description
Birth Date

5/17/1964

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Lobster

Short Description

Electrical engineer and academic administrator Gary May (1964 - ) is the Dean of the College of Electrical Engineering of Georgia Institute of Technology.

Employment

Georgia Institute of Technology

University of California, Berkeley

Bell Laboratories

McDonnell Douglas Technical Services Company (MDTSC)

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Gary May's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Gary May lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Gary May describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Gary May describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Gary May describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Gary May describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Gary May describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Gary May describes his interest in comic books and science fiction

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Gary May talks about his elementary and middle school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Gary May describes his reaction to the television mini-series, 'Roots'

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Gary May describes his experience in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Gary May talks about his experience in the Developing Engineering Students summer program

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Gary May describes his teenage interests

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Gary May describes what influenced his college choice

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Gary May talks about his experience at the Georgia Institute of Technology

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Gary May describes his experience at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Gary May talks about the University of California at Berkeley

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Gary May talks about his doctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Gary May describes his decision to stay at Georgia Tech for his Ph.D.

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Gary May describes his work with science education at Georgia Institute of Technology

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Gary May describes his computer preferences

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Gary May talks about programs to increase minority representation in engineering

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Gary May talks about his professional activities and awards

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Gary May talks about his career at the Georgia Institute of Technology, part one

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Gary May talks about his career at the Georgia Institute of Technology, part two

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Gary May describes his goals as dean of the engineering school at Georgia Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Gary May reflects on the effects of automation on the loss of jobs

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Gary May discusses the balance between his research and administrative responsibilities

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Gary May describes cutting edge research in semiconductors and electrical engineering

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Gary May reflects on his career

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Gary May shares his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Gary May reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Gary May talks about his family

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Gary May describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

1$3

DATitle
Gary May describes his reaction to the television mini-series, 'Roots'
Gary May describes his work with science education at Georgia Institute of Technology
Transcript
Yeah, well, we were talking off camera about 'Roots' [Alex Haley]--$$Emm hmm.$$--now that came out in 1977--$$Right.$$--and you'd have been ahh what, thirteen?$$Yeah, I was like ahh eighth grade or so.$$Yeah, thirteen years old?$$Emm hmm.$$And tell us about your reaction to "Roots."$$I was fascinated by it. It was probably the most compelling television I had ever seen, and maybe still to this day have seen 'cause, you know, I watched every episode. My face was glued to the television, riveted by every, every--'cause I had never--had no concept of slavery in the middle passage and what sort of things black people had endured. I mean we had some of this in school, but you know reading it in a textbook just didn't come alive the same way it did on television there with, you know, the story was so well-done and well-acted, and it was just a significant milestone in my life, seeing that series.$$Okay, and you expressed some surprise that your white classmates weren't watching.$$Yeah. So, you know, at school we'd get there in the morning and everyone would say, "What did you do last night? What did you watch on television?" And, you know, I was stunned that my white classmates weren't watching it. I couldn't imagine anybody wouldn't be watching this (laughter), but, you know, and they didn't, and not because they were bad people or anything; it just wasn't part of their experience or interest, and that was also something--a learning experience for me that there was some difference between myself and my, my classmates.$$Okay, okay. So did your teachers discuss it at school at all?$$We did not discuss it in school very much at all. It was more of a family--you know my whole family was watching it together and we'd discuss it, you know, during and after.$$Okay, okay. Did you have a sense that your own family history was--part of that was your own family history?$$Well I would ask a lotta questions. You know, it was the same kinda thing that our family experienced, and I was able to generalize that show to the black experience more broadly, and didn't have specific details on my family like Alex Haley did, but could sort of identify with it.$Okay. All right. So you became professor of engineering and computer engineering?$$Electrical and Computer Engineering--$$Okay.$$--that's the way we were organized here, but I still do electrical engineering myself, but we also had computer engineering degree and we're in the same department.$$Okay. Okay. It's interesting here and like almost the second year you're here, in '92 [1992], you founded and became director of the Summer Undergraduate Research and Engineering Science program, SURE--$$Right. The SURE program.$$--the SURE program.$$So, you know, my other real passion, in addition to my research, was in attracting other minorities to engineering and science and helping grow the field and replicate myself, if you will. I never could understand why there were so few of us. You know, if you believe, as I do, that the types of talents that make for good engineers are distributed uniformly across populations, there should be--you know, we should be a parity in engineering--black people, but we're not. So that's been a real passion of mine to contract more people to engineering, more African-American people to engineering. So at this program, the SURE program that you mentioned was an offshoot of something we did in graduate school where we brought students from other universities to campus at [University of California] Berkeley for the summer to recruit them to graduate school there.$$Now was that the Superb program?$$Superb. So my colleagues and I, when we were still graduate students, started the Superb program at Berkeley. And so the SURE program--the first name actually was called GT Supreme and forget what--it was another long acronym, but the same general model where the idea was to bring students from all over the U.S., black students who were at that time just electrical engineers, to Georgia Tech to (1) get them interested in graduate school, and (2) to hopefully recruit them to Georgia Tech for their graduate education. And I did that--that's probably, as I think about it, that was actually the first proposal I ever got funded as a faculty member, was for the SURE program. And starting that, as you said, right after I came in 1992, and it's been going strong every year since then so--the program is twenty-two years old now.$$Now did you get this program funded for $2.3 million back in '92 [1992]?$$No, no. The very first grant I got was for about $50,000, yeah.$$Oh, so this is the accumulation of all years, I guess (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--yeah, that's (unclear). Yeah.$$--'cause I was gonna say "Wow, it's astonishing."$$(Laughter) That would be great if that was my first grant, no. That first--it was just for one summer, a 50,000 grant--$50,000 grant for one summer, for '92 [1992], that would fund about ten students. And then after that, I wrote a, you know, renewal proposal and have been renewing it ever since then, typically every three years. The cumulative amount of funding there has been more than two million dollars.$$Okay. So it's funded by the National Science Foundation [NSF].$$Primarily. There have been a few other foundations, but that's been the bulk of the amount.$$Okay. Well--and that's for approximately how many students?$$So we started out with just ten students that summer, but now we have about thirty-five or forty students every summer. Cumulatively, we've had over 400 students since the program started. No students themselves have gone on; some of them have started similar programs and gone to graduate school and are professors at other universities, and it's been quite a success story.$$Okay. All right. Now, let's see. What were you working on? Was your time at Georgia Tech split between research and teaching?$$It was. At any research university, the responsibilities of the faculty member include both the research mission of the university as well as your teaching--your educational mission of the university. And there's some service and professional things that you do as well, but you have to be good at all those things to be successful, to get tenure and get promoted. And I was doing what I was supposed to doing.$$What kind of research were you (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) (unclear)--work. I was continuing that. I had students working on, you know, various sensors and modeling and process control systems, and all again designed to improve the efficiency and productivity of integrated circuit manufacturing.$$$$Okay. All right. So it says here that in 1997, you're thirty-three years old, you take on a leadership role at the National Science Foundation.$$Yeah, I was working as a--on a committee for NSF [National Science Foundation], and I think what I was doing then, if I remember that particular role, that was the--that's probably--it could be one of two things. It was a Committee on Equal Opportunity and Science Engineering. Is that the one you're talking about?$$Yeah, right.$$Yeah. So I was on that committee for a while and I eventually became Chair of that committee. I guess I was Chair in 2000.$$Okay. (Coughing). And in 1998, you founded the Facilities Academic Careers in Engineering and Sciences (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--So that's a FACES program. Facilitating Academic Careers in Engineering and Science. That was another grant from NSF that we got through a program that was originally called Minority Graduate Education, but now it's called The Alliances for Graduate Education (unclear). And the idea there was (1) to increase the number of underrepresented minorities getting PhD's in STEM fields, and more importantly than to get those folks with the PhD's into academic careers. And that was--we were one of the first cohort of universities that got one those grants and I was the principal investigator of the grant.

Legand Burge, Jr.

Engineer and academic administrator Legand Burge, Jr. was born on August 3, 1949 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. His parents, Bobbie and Legand Burge, Sr., had a profound impact on their children’s lives. Burge’s father, an electronics radar technician by background, served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and rose to the rank of master sergeant in the U.S. Air Force after the war, and continued to work with radar technology for the Federal Aviation Administration. Burge excelled in math and science during elementary school, and upon graduating from Oklahoma City Douglass High School in 1965, he was offered a scholarship to study at Oklahoma State University, where he earned his B.S. degree in electrical engineering in 1971. During college, Burge held internships with Oklahoma Gas and Electric. He considered establishing a career there, but through his acceptance to the Air Force Institute of Technology, he earned his M.S. degree in 1973. He was then assigned to work at the Sunnyvale Air Force Base in California with the National Reconnaissance Office. After four years of service, Burge returned to Oklahoma State University to study under Dr. Rao Yarlagadda, earning his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering in 1979.

Burge’s career has focused on information theory, coding theory, digital signal processing, and communications—areas of research that had become very popular during the 1970s and 1980s with the rise of both commercial technology and the military needs of the Cold War. Burge taught at the Air Force Academy before being selected to serve in the Intermediate Service School at the Air Command and Staff College. Shortly after, he was invited to work at the Pentagon under General Colin Powell’s supervision. Burge was assigned to the research and development group of the air staff’s International Program. In 1987, Burge became a lead researcher at the National Security Agency and later returned to the Pentagon, working as a cost estimator for the defense secretary. Burge retired from the military in 1999 after having served as vice commander of the entire Air Force ROTC program and the dean of the Acquisition Management School at the Defense Systems Management College. He was subsequently named a professor of electrical engineering and Dean of the College of Engineering, Architecture, and Physical Sciences at Tuskegee University.

Burge has been recognized for his administrative and research capabilities throughout his career. He was elected to the American Society of Engineering Education Executive Board in 2005. He has also worked with his son, Legand Burge, III to operate LL Burge & Associates, a consulting firm that addresses information technology needs.

Burge is the father of three adult children: Legand Burge, III, LeAnn Crisp, and Lamuelle Burge, and the step-father of Louis Burge.

Legand Burge, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 11, 2011.

Accession Number

A2011.016

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

4/11/2011

Last Name

Burge

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

L

Schools

Frederick A. Douglass High School

Oklahoma State University

F. D. Moon Academy

Truman Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
Archival Photo 2
First Name

Legand

Birth City, State, Country

Oklahoma City

HM ID

BUR19

Favorite Season

Winter

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

Oklahoma

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beaches

Favorite Quote

You Got To Have A Program.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Alabama

Interview Description
Birth Date

8/3/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Tuskegee

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Academic administrator and electrical engineer Legand Burge, Jr. (1949 - ) became the dean of the College of Engineering, Architecture, and Physical Sciences at Tuskegee University in 1999, after a thirty-year career in the United States Air Force.

Employment

Oklahoma Gas & Electric

Air Force Academy

United States Department of Defense

National Security Agency (NSA)

L. L. Burge & Associates

Tuskegee University

United States Air Force

Defense Systems Management College

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:7171,143:7668,151:9017,189:12922,256:13206,261:19667,386:32726,489:33384,497:37614,549:40820,558:43988,577:46004,601:46964,615:48308,628:51572,662:51956,667:52916,682:62020,769:68851,874:77212,965:77524,970:78226,980:81034,1029:94815,1234:99656,1268:118257,1459:119742,1481:121524,1502:132974,1653:137798,1762:147466,1944:152692,2156:160898,2322:162360,2346:171390,2485:181782,2613:184568,2633:188294,2702:188780,2709:189347,2718:190481,2740:215040,3070:215400,3079:216750,3096:217380,3105:218550,3116:218910,3121:219360,3127:231050,3268:232250,3293:237520,3353$0,0:1138,9:2356,30:2994,40:3226,45:3690,55:4154,64:4386,69:4618,74:7190,86:8020,97:11976,133:12558,141:19462,212:21828,257:22283,263:22829,270:24467,285:24922,291:25650,302:31410,339:32010,346:34160,357:34660,363:37720,382:38398,390:40867,421:45670,435:57202,512:58570,539:60658,581:61018,587:61306,592:62170,602:66738,688:72670,776:75212,828:75540,833:76278,844:76934,866:79230,911:81034,957:81526,964:85042,984:85609,993:87472,1023:89902,1082:97840,1119:98180,1160:102884,1239:103196,1244:106154,1261:106960,1278:111174,1328:111958,1339:114030,1351:114555,1360:114855,1365:115905,1388:119505,1474:122580,1578:128348,1635:128833,1641:129803,1650:131064,1664:131937,1673:132810,1685:133877,1697:134847,1714:135429,1722:136108,1730:143418,1842:148662,1951:149802,1978:150410,1988:151322,2004:155880,2009:156501,2024:158157,2057:158778,2070:159468,2081:159744,2086:160434,2097:160917,2106:161400,2113:166870,2142:167816,2154:168160,2159:168934,2169:169278,2174:170826,2207:171342,2215:174352,2261:175298,2275:176416,2295:177964,2318:178480,2325:183085,2341:183535,2349:186610,2409:189160,2461:189535,2467:192085,2505:193060,2522:200000,2587:200714,2595:203170,2621:203995,2634:204595,2645:213765,2715:215070,2724:219618,2758:220448,2775:224266,2845:224930,2854:225843,2867:226175,2872:226756,2881:227503,2892:231132,2919:234220,2925:234808,2934:235816,2946:236488,2955:238000,2981:238504,2988:239092,2996:242360,3011:242728,3016:245490,3043:246896,3073:247858,3085:249708,3120:250448,3131:250818,3137:251632,3149:252076,3156:252668,3167:253112,3174:253556,3182:254296,3193:254666,3199:259001,3224:259333,3229:260661,3248:261823,3264:262155,3269:263649,3308:264147,3315:268712,3392:269044,3397:269874,3408:275221,3452:275760,3457:276607,3469:277223,3478:277762,3487:279225,3509:279533,3514:279841,3519:280534,3531:281150,3541:282074,3556:282613,3563:283075,3570:287110,3588:287608,3595:289019,3633:289434,3639:292173,3684:293169,3703:293750,3711:298979,3814:300888,3847:306305,3887:307052,3898:307467,3904:307799,3909:310621,3977:314937,4095:316016,4106:317261,4127:318174,4139:321670,4144
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Legand Burge's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Legand Burge shares his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Legand Burge talks about his mother's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Legand Burge explains his family's involvement in the history of negro spirituals

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Legand Burge talks about his family's Native American lineage

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Legand Burge talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Legand Burge talks about his father's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Legand Burge talks about his father's siblings and home town

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Legand Burge talks about his father's education and military experience

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Legand Burge explains the parceling of the family property, part 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Legand Burge explains the parceling of the family property, part 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Legand Burge talks about his father's military promotions

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Legand Burge talks about his parents' meeting and his mother's cooking ability

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Legand Burge explains his mother's approach to home training

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Legand Burge discusses the nature of his segregated school system

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Legand Burge discusses his school's tracking system

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Legand Burge talks about playing the piano at his church

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Legand Burge responds to a question about the Church of the Nazarene

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Legand Burge recounts how he got into electrical engineering

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Legand Burge talks about his school experience

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Legand Burge discusses educational philosophy

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Legand Burge recalls his high school mentors

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Legand Burge describes how family gatherings minimized the effect of his parents' divorce

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Legand Burge describes his father's remarriage

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Legand Burge talks about his social and extracurricular high school experience

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Legand Burge talks about his favorite musicians

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Legand Burge recounts his experience at Oklahoma State University, part 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Legand Burge recounts his experience at Oklahoma State University, part 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Legand Burge details his memory of the Martin Luther King Jr. Assassination in 1968

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Legand Burge discusses his family's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Legand Burge recalls his involvement in black student organizations at Oklahoma State University

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Legand Burge talks about speech recognition technology

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Legand Burge talks about his experience in the Air Force ROTC program

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Legand Burge talks about his work as a satellite officer in the Air Force ROTC

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Legand Burge explains how he got his master's degree

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Legand Burge talks about the effects of his Ph.D. studies on his marriage, part 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Legand Burge talks about the effects of his Ph.D. studies on his marriage, part 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Legand Burge explains his Ph.D. dissertation in speech recognition technology

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Legand Burge describes accents and speech recognition software

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Legand Burge discusses speech recognition technology

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Legand Burge talks about his 1984 experience in the Air Command and Staff College of the Air Force Academy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Legand Burge details his work at the Pentagon

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Legand Burge relates his achievements at the Pentagon

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Legand Burge talks about his work at the National Security Agency

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Legand Burge responds to a question about tracking technology

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Legand Burge recalls his experience during the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Legand Burge talks about technological developments and U.S. national security

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Legand Burge talks about his experience in the Air War College

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Legand Burge discusses his work for the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Legand Burge recalls his job as commander of ROTC programs at Tuskegee University

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Legand Burge talks about his transition from the military to the electrical engineering department at Tuskegee University

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Legand Burge shares a story about nearly leaving his position at Tuskegee University

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Legand Burge talks about creating L.L. Burge and Associates with his children

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Legand Burge reflects on his life's accomplishments

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Legand Burge shares his thoughts on the future of Tuskegee University

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Legand Burge responds to a question about how he would like to be remembered

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Legand Burge discusses his school's tracking system
Legand Burge relates his achievements at the Pentagon
Transcript
A kind of tracking system.$$And it tracked, it tracked us from the time we left elementary. The better students were kind of tracked in their special courses. We got the better math, the better science, the better physics and all that through the junior high school. And we were forced into this higher end math. I actually had calculus before I left high school, all right. So we were tracked into the whole thing. As a matter of fact, my high school class, 1967, has today, of any Douglas High School group, of the whole time, more lawyers, doctors, colonels, high-end administrators. We got three or four politicians, just significant achievement from that class. We had about 420 to graduate. And I understand about 80 percent of the folk actually went to college, okay. We're talking 1967 now. I went to Oklahoma State [University, Stillwater, Oklahoma] and twenty of us went to Oklahoma State in engineering, all right. Seven of us graduated. So just unusually high preparation for, you know, achieving in the science and the engineering and the math. So that's really quite (unclear). And that happened out of [Frederick] Douglass [High School]. We had people winning science fairs, nationwide, out of Douglas, statewide. We had folks going to music, state music, and winning competition. As a matter of fact, the choir, the band, it was not unusual for us to win the statewide competition in choir and band because we were just that good, and I'm talking classical, you know, producing the kind of development with the entire repertoire, you know, doing concerts. That was just unusual, all right. So we were exposed to this business in the '50s [1950s] and '60s [1960s]. And you gotta understand that a lot of those professors were coming from, you know, Florida A and M [Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Tallahassee, Florida], and they ended up going to, you know, coming to Oklahoma City. We had people coming out of Tuskegee [University, Tuskegee, Alabama], coming here, you know, Howard [University, Washington D.C.], Hampton [University, Hampton, Virginia]. They would come and they'd work there and what have you. As a matter of fact, the guy who taught music actually studied at Fisk [University, Nashville, Tennessee], a guy named Leroy Hicks. He was there for like twenty or thirty, forty years. I had French from a black lady who had studied over in Paris [France], and she taught French. Matter of fact, Madam James, as her name was called, taught us one first, second, third year of French as you--and when you, believe it or not, I never had anymore French, and I could still go to France and be very comfortable with interacting with the people over the years since I've been around. One of the things as far as the fine arts goes, we did at Douglas was every year they performed 'The Messiah', all right. I'm talking about the Christmas version of it, all right. And then they did something in the spring too that was related. So the choir and the band and the orchestra at the time would put this on with the community and we would be exposed to this whole business every year. So you had those kind of fine arts things that were going on with the sciences and the math, you know, and the kind of things that would really give you wide exposure to, you know, what this is all about.$Okay, so when you were at the Pentagon, what would you consider your most significant project or achievement?$$Showing up and coming back to work on time every day (laughter). I have to share this with you. My wife, Janice (ph.) now, we have been married about twenty years now, was there when I got promoted to colonel. And one of the things that I was gonna have her do was to walk in with me because we had to both show up. And from North Parking to the Pentagon is a trek. It's a long, long way. And I said, you might wanna wear some tennis shoes 'cause, you know, she'd never done this trek before. And if you walk around, if you go around the Pentagon now, you find a lot of ladies wearing tennis shoes when they walk and going from the parking lot and all that, long way. Well, she says, oh, no, I don't wanna do that because of this and that and the other. I'd have to change shoes. I said, I think you wanna wear tennis shoes. Well, she didn't heed my advice. So she's in these heels and we're walking from North Parking. I'm talking about the last row. It's probably, if it's not a half a mile, it's three quarters of a mile, long way; nice sidewalk, but she's walking and says, how far is it? I said, we're going over there. She says you've got to be kidding. No, I said (laughter). So we walk over there and, indeed, she says the next time, I'm either gonna take the Metro in here (laughter), and that's the way you get in now, or you're gonna drop me off in the front (laughter). And since 9/11 [September 11, 2001], you know, you can't even get close to the Pentagon. You have to (unclear). But I do think that the international programs piece was a significant place to be. It gave me another dimension of what the whole world was all about. I'd been to all the NATO [North American Treaty Organization] countries, the Middle East, been to Korea. You know, I, I mean I've been like all over. You go to a lot of places, you know, and as a result of that you get to meet people and the cultures. You get to understand issues. You understand that everything that the United States is putting out is not necessarily what everybody else needs (laughter), okay. And you need to understand that, okay. And that's one of the reasons why I think, where we are right now in this very global environment, we need to appreciate that, what's going on. So--$$Can you give us an example of what you mean by that?$$Well, one of the first meetings I went to was a NATO meeting that was held in Brussels [Belgium]. And we had to get the--at that time, it was sixteen countries, you had to get everybody to agree on a decision that was gonna be made for something. My job was to get the staffers together and to share appropriate reasons why, how much it was gonna cost, you know, etc., etc. and just lay out what we called a consensus so that when the member was speaking, he would--or she would make the appropriate positive remarks towards where the United States' position was. That takes a lot of effort, all right. It's a win, win. You have to get rational discussions. You have to understand where everybody's coming from. You really have to appreciate their perspective too and that your perspective is not necessarily the only perspective, all right (laughter). So that's what I got out of a lot of this thing. And so at the end of the day, we got this particular item, you know, approved, and our guys went back happy. And everyone else was supportive of it, and they felt like it was theirs as opposed to the United States saying "do it", a little different there, all right. See, the other people have to feel like its theirs. If you look at all of the various consensus that are going on with the Desert Storm [1990-1991], the Iraq Wars [2003-] and all that, the coalition has to agree that it's their interests, all right (laughter). You're not doing that because the United States is forcing you to do this. This is very, very key in the international environment, all right. We just can't go in and push around and say, hey, this is not, this is my idea. It's gotta be everybody's idea.