Following the sale of his company in Southern California, Jack Rhodes ’60 relocated to his home turf in the Pacific Northwest. Instantly getting active in the fraternity’s graduate chapter, he also found time to take on another major project in his “retirement”.
Over the past 18 years Jack has been the driver/visionary/director for the Sales Certificate Program for the Foster School of Business. The students are selected to attend a series of classes over a two year period that focus on sales skills and strategies. Each student ends the two years with a quarter long internship in a sales training position with a Seattle-area business.
In the their final quarter the intern students and the sponsoring businesses are invited to a breakfast saluting the students and thanking the businesses who are vital to the program’s practical skill experiences as well as many of them also serving to sponsor the program financially. The growth and improvement in the program under Jack’s leadership is quite impressive. Kudos to Jack.
(Much of info that follows was extracted from a Seattle PI interview dated 2005.)
Though later an accomplished University of Washington basketball and baseball player, Jorgensen’s place in local sporting folklore remains tied to a schoolboy encounter 71 years ago, when Jorgensen’s Roosevelt High School team played at Queen Anne in a game matching a pair of first-place contenders.
It was a very rare seven innings of baseball – Bob was the winning pitcher in a double no-hitter.
At Howe Field, also known as West Queen Anne Playfield, Jorgensen bested Queen Anne left-hander Jack Ferluga 1-0. The then-Roughriders senior, Jorgensen, scored the winning run in the fifth inning, reaching base when the Grizzlies’ shortstop booted his grounder, then stealing second and scoring when the opposing first baseman dropped a two-out pop-up just inside the foul line in gusty conditions.
From a Seattle PI interview Jorgensen, the retired dentist, said: “It seemed so routine. Nobody in the stands probably knew I was pitching a no-hitter. I probably didn’t know it, either. Nobody said anything during the game.”
Jorgensen was an all-city basketball player and second-team, all-conference pitcher as well as a running back for the Roosevelt Roughriders.
Bob went on to considerable sporting glory at the UW, though in curious fashion. As a freshman basketball guard permitted to play during wartime, Jorgensen enjoyed his greatest individual success in his initial college season. He led the Huskies in scoring (11.3 points per game), was voted the team’s most inspirational player and was named All-Pacific Coast Conference before being called off to war for seven months.
After his war-time service he returned to letter each of the next three seasons in both basketball and baseball. As a junior guard, he had his next-most productive season, averaging 10 points and receiving all-coast honorable mention. He played in the ’48 NCAA Tournament. He won his share of baseball games as a pitcher. He teamed with future big-league catcher Sammy White in both basketball and baseball.
Cliff Otis ’74 wrote:
Bob was a life loyal Fiji .. and great husband and father. At recent Pig dinners he was 3 times the oldest living Fiji attending and greeting the Pig.
A Roosevelt grad.. he came into the UW during the War – WWII. He loved the Fiji house. It was a found memory. He knew many of the guys on the Sigma Tau Library wall of Honor for WWII. They were all heroes!
Bob was a 4 year letterman at UW in basketball. First freshmen to ever earn the big W.
After graduation he went UW dental school and then setup practice on the Eastside. This proved to be a big success for his as it was by MSFT.
He was very good golfer, and served as President of Overlake Golf and Country Club. Bob loved the Pig dinner and he loyally attended the Fiji luncheons whenever the speaker was the Husky Football or Basketball coach.
Irish Coles ’52 wrote:
It’s with great, great sadness that I read from you, about Bob Jorgensen’s passing. Bob won more big W’s than any Fiji in the history of Sigma Tau. A grand total of 7, between Basketball and Baseball.
When he was a senior @ Roosevelt high school, football coach Lou Hull, didn’t have a Q.B. Bob never played football before, but he took up the challenge and Roosevelt won the city championship.
How super it was that he was given such huge honors at last years Pig Dinner.
Curt Reusser ’82 is Chairman of the Board and CEO of one of Puget Sound’s highly respected companies – Esterline Corporation (NYSE: ESL) (www.esterline.com), a leading specialty manufacturer serving global aerospace and defense markets. Prior to this Reusser was President of United Technologies’ multi-billion dollar Aircraft Systems business.
Early in his career, Reusser served as Manager for Engineering of TRAMCO which led him up the ladder at Goodrich to President, Electronic Systems Segment, a $2.6 billion business with 7,800 employees and operations in seven countries, consisting of three business units: Sensors & Integrated Systems; Engine Controls & Electric Power Systems; and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Systems. While there, he developed and executed several strategic acquisitions and established joint-venture partnerships that generated significant improvement in segment-level profitability. In previous years with Goodrich, he held various positions of increasing responsibility, including President, Aerostructures. That division nearly doubled its sales over the five years of his leadership and became widely recognized for world-class application of lean.
Curt received his BS in Industrial Engineering and Mechanical Engineering from the University of Washington. He subsequently earned a Certificate in Business Management from the University of San Diego.
We were honored to have Curt as a speaker. He was quite generous in answering the many questions from the crowd.
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