McKenney, Stewart awarded Joseph Mayo Pettit Alumni Distinguished Service Award

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Each year the Georgia Tech Alumni Association's Gold & White Honors ceremony recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves in service to the Institute. This year, two alumni of the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, David M. "Dave" McKenney, Phys 1960, IE 1964, and H. Milton Stewart, Jr., IE 1961, were among four alumni to be awarded the Joseph Mayo Pettit Alumni Distinguished Service Award. The Distinguished Service Award is the highest award conferred by the

Alumni Association given to an alumnus or honorary alumnus who has set a standard by exceptional and outstanding support of the Institute and the Alumni Association.

"Milt Stewart and David McKenney exemplify what it means to give back to Tech and the community," said Chair of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association, Janice Wittschiebe, Arch 1978, M Arch 1980. "They were honored for their generosity and kindness in addition to the spectacular impact they have made in advancing Georgia Tech and the Alumni Association."

Success in the business world, David M. McKenney once told a Georgia Tech audience of aspiring entrepreneurs, requires facing risk head-on and managing it * and the best way to do that, the former Marine advised, was to "prepare and follow a good business plan." It's a strategy that has served Atlanta-based McKenney's Management Corp. well. The firm made a big splash when it was hired as mechanical contractor for the Georgia Aquarium, the world's largest. McKenney is chairman and chief executive officer of the firm founded by his father, John M. McKenney, Com 32, in 1943. His son, John, IE 90, is president and represents the third generation to manage the company.

About 500 co-op students have been hired by McKenney's since 1976 and in 2005, Tech's Briarean Society named McKenney the Co-op Employer of the Year. He was named to the Stewart

School of Industrial and Systems Engineering Hall of Fame in 2002 and the College of Engineering Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni in 1994 and received the Georgia Tech Young Alumni Service Award in 1974. McKenney received the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers ALCO's award for distinguished public service in 2006 and the Greater Atlanta Engineer of the Year in Construction Award in 1974 and 1991.

In addition to his Tech degrees, McKenney holds a master's in business administration from

Georgia State University. He is a trustee of the Georgia Tech Foundation and chair of the Bobby Dodd Institute. He formerly was president of the executive committee of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association, vice chairman of the Atlanta Campaign Steering Committee and chair of the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering Advisory Board. He is a deacon and ordained elder of St. Luke's Presbyterian Church in Dunwoody, Ga. He and his wife, Sarah, have two other grown children Susan and Scott, and live in Atlanta.

As a student, Milt Stewart worked for Frank F. Groseclose, founder of Georgia Tech's industrial engineering program, who encouraged him to continue his studies and earn a graduate degree. But after graduating with an industrial engineering degree in 1961, Stewart returned home to help grow the family business, Standard Telephone Co., in Cornelia. At 31, he became head of the company, expanding it as such opportunities as cable television arose. In 1987, he and his sister, Kay Swanson, established the Standard Group. Arkansas-based Alltel purchased Standard Telephone in 1998.

In 2006, he and his wife, Carolyn, in a spectacular demonstration of philanthropy, made a $20 million commitment to Georgia Tech. In turn, the Institute named its

School of Industrial and Systems Engineering in his honor. Stewart has been generous in his support of Tech. He established the H. Milton Stewart Jr. Endowment Fund for ISyE Programs in 1995 and the H. Milton and Carolyn J. Stewart School Chair in 1999. He also has supported scholarships for female students coming to Georgia Tech from Habersham High School.

He earned an MBA from

Emory University in 1981 and was awarded an honorary doctorate from Piedmont College in 1989. Stewart was elected to serve on the Georgia Tech Alumni Association board of trustees in 1988 and three years later to the executive committee, becoming its president in 1995. He is a trustee emeritus of the Georgia Tech Foundation, former chairman of the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering Advisory Board and former member of the College of Engineering Advisory Board.

The family has a white-and-gold tradition. Stewart's son, Jeb, Cls 91, is married to Stephanie, CE 97. Stewart's daughter, Jill, Mgt 93, is married to Glenn Archer, Mgt 91.


  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Barbara Christopher
  • Created:03/19/2007
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:10/07/2016



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