Alumni Honored This Weekend
Two NMU alumni with Upper Peninsula roots will be recognized for their achievements during NMU’s Homecoming celebration. Robert Wallenstein of Fort Wayne, Ind.—known as Bob Chase in the radio industry—and Dr. William Bowerman of College Park, Md., will receive the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award.
Wallenstein, a Marquette native, began his radio career at NMU, where he announced hockey games. Since then he has gone on to announce high school sports, Big Ten football games and the Indy 500. He began play-by-play sports announcing on radio station WOWO for the Fort Wayne Komets hockey team in 1953. He also served as the public service director, assistant program director, sports director and marketing director for WOWO. He has made a name for himself both inside and outside the hockey rink. Wallenstein supports the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, mentors broadcasting students, advocates leagues for youth sports and has a hockey tournament for handicapped athletes named after him. He has been inducted to the Upper Peninsula Hall of Fame and has been named the International Hockey League Broadcaster of the Year. Last week he was announced as USA Hockey's recipient of the 2012 Lester Patrick Award. Semi-retired, he is set to begin his 60th season of broadcasting.
Bowerman is a Munising native who received his master’s degree in biology in 1991. He serves as chair of the department of environmental science and toxicology and as professor at the University of Maryland in College Park. He has served on a bald eagle recovery team for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and has studied the correlation between pollution and bald eagle ecology for about 25 years. Bowerman has trained more than 300 wildlife professionals and is leading a team of scientists through 19 countries to study indigenous eagle species. He has published over 70 articles and is involved with several ecological and ornithological organizations. He also led a team that discovered the cause for avian vacuolar myelinopathy, a disease that killed more than 100 bald eagles and 10,000 waterfowl. He is co-chair of the International Joint Commission’s Great lakes Science Advisory Board, a national authority on water quality issues.
Wallenstein and Bowerman will be honored at the NMU Alumni Association Homecoming Awards and Foundation Scholarship Brunch on Saturday.