DWU presents honorary doctorates

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Mitchell—Dakota Wesleyan University conferred honorary doctorates at its recent commencement ceremony.  Wayne and Mary Puetz of Mitchell were presented with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.  Dr. Carol Nogle Lucas ’61 was presented with an Honorary Doctor of Science.

Wayne and Mary Puetz are longtime Mitchell residents who have faithfully supported many Mitchell organizations including Holy Family and Holy Spirit parishes, the Catholic Community Foundation of Eastern South Dakota, Mitchell Area Safe Place, Mitchell Area United Way, the City of Mitchell Bike Trail Advisory Board, the Mitchell Tennis Association, the Mitchell Area Development Corporation, Focus 2020, Associated General Contractors of South Dakota and many others.

As founders of WM Nutrition and leaders of Puetz Design + Build, the Puetzes have had a great impact on the Mitchell region and on Dakota Wesleyan University.  Wayne served as a longtime board of trustees member, and both Wayne and Mary are enthusiastic fans of all things “Tigers” – academics, athletics, music and theatre.  The couple have also been able to help transform the landscape of the DWU campus with many of its new spaces, including the DWU/Avera Sports and Wellness Complex, the George and Eleanor McGovern Library, the Glenda K. Corrigan Health Sciences Center, the DWU Theatre, the Alumni Welcome Center, Dakota Hall and the new School of Business, Innovation and Leadership.

The honorary doctorate was presented in recognition of their many years of faithful service to their church and community, the legacy of building and growth they established on the Dakota Wesleyan campus, and the support and devotion shown to their family and many friends

Carol Lucas was recognized for her dedicated commitment to academic excellence, unparalleled research skills, breadth of publications that will be referenced for generations and a significant contributor to the body of knowledge in the field of biomedical engineering

Lucas, a 1961 graduated of DWU, went on to a trailblazing career in the field of biomedical engineering.  She was the first female systems analyst hired by Cargill before achieving advanced degrees from the University of Arizona and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

After several fellowships and experiences across an array of disciplines, she joined the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she eventually ascended to the rank of full professor and served as one of the first female department chairs of a biomedical engineering program in the nation.

Lucas has served as a presenter and panelist at the National Science Foundation where she currently holds an EXPERT appointment in the Engineering Biology and Health Cluster; the Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport Systems; and the Directorate for Engineering.  She was also presented with DWU’s Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Healthcare, Fitness and Sciences in 2010.