College of LAS « Illinois

Meet the 2014 LAS alumni award winners

Winners have used degrees for lives full of adventures

The 2014 LAS Alumni Award winners attended a college reception in their honor. Pictured are Peter Senter, Patrick Walsh, William Banholzer, Laura Bolton, Allan Campbell, and Alan Parsons.
The 2014 LAS Alumni Award winners attended a college reception in their honor. Pictured are Peter Senter, Patrick Walsh, William Banholzer, Laura Bolton, Allan Campbell, and Alan Parsons.

“Life is an adventure,” because you never know what path your career will follow, says Laura Bolton, one of six LAS award winners this year.

Bolton majored in psychology but ended up becoming a leader in wound care management. Another 2014 award winner set his sights on music, but instead made significant breakthroughs in cancer treatment. A third recipient hoped to become an Air Force pilot, but became chief technical officer for one of the largest chemical companies in the world. And a fourth award winner just happened to stumble across an Illinois survey course that sent him off in a completely unexpected direction—creating a company that makes solar lights for developing countries.

Meanwhile, the two winners of the LAS Quadrangle Award didn’t wind up on unplanned career paths, as the others did. But they were still caught up in unlikely adventures. One of them jumped from planes for the Army Rangers, while the other dove down to one of the oldest shipwrecks in the ocean.

The following are the six 2014 LAS award winners and their adventures.

LAS Alumni Achievement Award Winners

William F. Banholzer was looking for variety in his work when he began with General Electric, and that’s what he got. In his career with GE and Dow Chemical, he has worked on artificial diamonds, plastics, solar-powered shingles, lighting, stealth technology, and more. He was also chief technical officer for Dow, one of the world’s largest companies. Read more about William F. Banholzer.

Laura Bolton is one of the nation’s leading authorities on wound care. She was a pioneer in occlusive bandages, which hold moisture close to the wound, accelerating healing and reducing pain. She also led the team that created a new and improved version of DuoDERM, the most widely used hydrocolloid dressing. It even works on the most difficult-to-heal wounds. Read more about Laura Bolton.

Peter Senter made some of the earliest breakthroughs in the use of antibodies to target cancer cells without destroying nearby healthy cells. He was also one of the founding members of Seattle Genetics, which developed the drug Adcetris, an important treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the most common cancer among teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19. Read more about Peter Senter.

LAS Recent Graduate Award Winner

Patrick Walsh discovered the need for improved lighting in developing countries while on a trip to India as a University of Illinois student. This trip inspired him to start Greenlight Planet, a company that sold a million solar lanterns in 2013 and has already topped that number in 2014. Solar lanterns replace the more dangerous and expensive kerosene lamps. Read more about Patrick Walsh.

LAS Quadrangle Award Winners

Allan C. Campbell has always been fascinated by archaeology and history, and he even explored a ship from the late Bronze Age. He used his knowledge in these subjects to become deeply involved in U of I’s Spurlock Museum. Campbell and his wife donated funds for the Greek and Roman gallery and other parts of the museum and was past president of the museum board.

Alan Parsons honed his leadership skills at Illinois, where he was president of his dorm and was named one of the 100 most active seniors. This lawyer and former Army Ranger has also been a leader among Illinois alumni, serving on the Board of Directors for the Alumni Association, as well as the U of I Friends of the Library Board and the Louisville Illini Club.

Doug Peterson

Related Topics

  • Alumni Profiles