Edward W. Snowdon received a Bronze Star for his service in the D-Day invasion and the Battle of the Bulge. After the war, he worked for the Charles L. Wagner Opera Co. and, finally, for Young and Rubicam, the global marketing and advertising giant. His wife, Lee Hill Snowdon, served on the board of her family’s charity, the Hill-Snowdon Foundation, and was the primary decision-maker for several years after her father died. When she and Edward moved to Florida, Lee began funding Florida organizations. The Snowdon Fellowships at Florida Tech are funded by a gift, in perpetuity, from the Edward W. Snowdon and Lee Hill Snowdon Administrative Fund, and the funds are matched by the F.W. Olin Foundation. Scholarship recipients must be deserving graduate students in the Department of Ocean Engineering and Marine Sciences.
F. Alan Smith Apollo
F. Alan Smith
F. Alan Smith obtained his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College in 1951 and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business in 1953. Throughout his life, or for more than 30 years, to be more specific, he has held different leadership positions in which he has succeeded such as Executive Vice President of Finance of General Motors and President and General Manager of General Motors of Canada, Ltd. Additionally, he served on the Board of Directors of 3M Corp.
Smith has served on Florida Institute of Technology’s Board of Trustees since 1996 and, in 2007, founded the “F. Alan Smith Distinguished Lecture Series”, in which corporate executives speak to students, faculty, and community leaders at Florida Tech. The lecture series includes topics such as innovation in the automotive industry, self-driving cars, the Hyperloop high-speed rail, and advances in ridesharing, among others.
Henry L. and Grace Doherty Charitable Foundation, Inc. Apollo
Henry L. and Grace Doherty Charitable Foundation, Inc.
The Henry L. and Grace Doherty Charitable Foundation Inc. was established in 1948 in New York. The foundation primarily promotes the marine sciences and education and assists institutions engaged in oceanographic activities. At Florida Tech, the Doherty foundation funds the annual Henry L. and Grace Doherty Visiting Professorship in the Department of Ocean Engineering and Marine Sciences. Twenty visiting professors have held the position since it began.
Jim Thomas Apollo
Jim Thomas ’72 is known for helping lead MapQuest through its initial public offering. His creative and pragmatic leadership in technology-related public and private companies earned him numerous technology and entrepreneurial awards. In 2005, Jim was named to the university’s board of trustees and served for nearly a decade, helping guide Florida Tech through an important period of growth and development. He has also received Florida Tech’s highest alumni honor, the Jerome P. Keuper Distinguished Alumni Award, which recognizes alumni whose career accomplishments honor the university’s legacy of excellence.
Kern Family Foundation Apollo
Kern Family Foundation
In 1959, Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern founded what became Generac Power Systems, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of complete engine-driven power generator systems. After selling a division of Generac in 1998, the Kerns established the Kern Family Foundation. The Kern Family Foundation’s mission is to empower the rising generation of Americans to build flourishing lives anchored in strong character, inspired by quality education, driven by an entrepreneurial mindset and guided by the desire to create value for others. The foundation has funded research at Florida Tech to develop an entrepreneurial mindset among engineering students.
Ralph Evinrude Apollo
Ralph S. Evinrude (1907–1986) was the son of Ole Evinrude, inventor of the outboard motor. Ralph joined his father’s business, the Elto Outboard Motor Co., and built it into Outboard Marine Corporation (OMC), eventually becoming president, director and chair of the company. Ralph was married to Frances Langford, a singer and movie actress popular during the 1940s. Ralph oversaw three philanthropic foundations: two that donate to schools, hospitals and community organizations, and a third that supports recreational boating. Ralph gave over $750,000 to Florida Tech between 1972 and 1983.
Robert L. Long Apollo
Robert L. Long
Robert L. Long (1937–2006) worked for Eastman Kodak Co. for 30 years as an engineer and, finally, as vice president. Upon retirement in 1992, Robert worked as a strategy planning consultant to several CEOs and investors, and he served Florida Tech as a trustee from 1999 to 2006. He is remembered as an “intelligent individual who listened intently and displayed an uncanny ability to cut right to the heart of the issue being discussed,” says former Florida Tech professor Roger Manley. With his wife, Phyllis, he endowed the Robert L. Long Professorship in Ethics at Florida Tech. This position allows the Bisk College of Business to provide focus for Florida Tech’s longstanding interest in standards of conduct and moral judgment used by organizations’ leadership to make business decisions. The fund provides compensation and benefits for the professor designated as chair in ethics, including the chair’s travel, advertising and publication coverage.
Whit and Martha Cotten Apollo
Whit and Martha Cotten
Whitworth Wilson Cotton, Jr. was born on February 5th, 1938, in Petersburg, Virginia. From the young age of 3, he began tinkering with things and never stopped. Starting in early childhood, to the surprise of those around him, he took apart clocks and radios, only to later put them back together again.
With his smarts and “whits” about him, he joined the Navy and served in Japan. He spoke fluent Japanese and other languages. He made electronics, engineered radio boards and fiber optics. His work involved recording conversations in the jungle which ultimately helped end the Vietnam war.
After the Navy, he married Martha DeNeen, She had a daughter, Deneane, whom he raised as his own. They had a son Whitworth III and a daughter Martha-Carole. Their grandson, Jayden Rhys Whitworth Hottenstein, was born with striking Scottish blue eyes. Martha passed away in May 2015.
His work changed the world. His time was spent inventing and was driven by electronic engineering. He designed a chip that went to space and contributed to the moon landing. His passion to create cable helped make high-speed internet possible. He worked for industry-leading companies like Stromberg Carlson, Harris, JDS Uniphase, and BCP (Broadband Communication Productions).
He attended Florida Institute of Technology to finish his master's degree in advanced technologies.
His free time was consumed with family. Often playing music, especially the classical piece Pachelbel especially for the ears of his daughter. He raised mallard ducks earning his nickname, “Duckman” as the ducklings would follow him and come when he called. The family even owned a duck phone that quacked when it rang.
He was a giver, supporting the Orlando Philharmonic, The Museum of Art and the needs of those in poverty. He founded a children’s center with his church. He believed in giving back to the community and service to God.
He was a true renaissance man. He challenged financial professionals, used his carpentry skills to construct a tree house and family home, became a beekeeper making sweet honey candy, sang folk songs while playing guitar, proudly wore his eclectic ties, invented things that changed our world, and all with a kind, gentle heart.
A testament to his lifelong “whit-isms” was a sign in his garage “SPEED LIMIT 186,000 MPS It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law.” It is the speed of light.
He stood by what he defined as the most important things in life, wisdom, insight, courage, finding the strength in God and inside yourself.
Whit passed on September 27, 2021, but left a legacy forever at Florida Tech by establishing the Whit and Martha Cotten Scholarship.