UMN banner hanging in the Spring

DeMaster and Rutzick give generously of their time and talents to CSE

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (6/27/2017)—Two CSE alumni have been awarded the University of Minnesota Alumni Service Award. The award is given to University of Minnesota alumni by the Board of Regents in recognition of their service to the University or its schools, colleges, or departments; or service to the University of Minnesota Alumni Association. Both alumni will be recognized at the University of Minnesota Alumni Association Annual Awards Affair this fall.

The alumni who received the award are:

Robert DeMaster (Chem Ph.D. ’70)

Head shot of Robert DeMaster

DeMaster received the award for his enthusiastic dedication and involvement with the College of Science and Engineering. As a committed and hardworking volunteer, his contributions have positively impacted the student experience.

He is a charter member of the Chemistry External Advisory Board, which was formed in 2015. In this leadership role, he has provided advice regarding academic, programmatic, and strategic issues, helped to promote the department, and provided financial support.

Since 2012, DeMaster has been a committed member of the CSE Campaign Committee. He was instrumental in helping the college reach and exceed its $150 million goal, raising a total of $176 million for the campaign, which concluded in 2015. In addition to his role as a key member of the Campaign Committee, DeMaster has provided generous support of his own, including a named fellowship. He will continue his volunteer service on the committee as the University of Minnesota heads into the next phase of a University-wide fundraising campaign, which launched this fall.

DeMaster and his wife, Jill, who are joint life members of the University of Minnesota Alumni Association, are enthusiastic and regular participants at University, College of Science and Engineering, and Chemistry department events. They often attend public lectures, lunch and learn events, football games, and donor events.

Jim Rutzick (ME ’66)

Headshot of Jim Rutzick

Rutzick received the award for his passionate dedication and volunteerism to the College of Science and Engineering. His energy and leadership on the college’s Campaign Committee, the Mechanical Engineering alumni network, and his leadership on the Class of 1966 50th reunion committee have benefitted many alumni.

As a co-founder of the Mechanical Engineering Alumni Network in 2009, which connects primarily through a LinkedIn group, Rutzick has helped to foster mutually beneficial relationships among alumni and ME faculty. More than 1,400 ME alumni have access to department news, events, job postings, and more, creating alumni connections to the department and each other.

An energetic volunteer, Rutzick was a member of the Class of 1966 50th reunion planning committee where he spent considerable time connecting with classmates encouraging them to attend. He also gave the welcome address on behalf of the reunion committee. Additionally, he was an active member of the CSE Campaign Committee where his efforts helped the college to exceed its $150 million fundraising goal. He has also agreed to serve on the Campaign Committee for the University-wide fundraising campaign which began this fall.

Rutzick has been a longtime supporter of the University of Minnesota Alumni Association and Gopher sports, holding season tickets for men’s hockey and football. Along with his wife, Sandra, who is also a University of Minnesota graduate, he regularly attends CSE public lectures, Mechanical Engineering events, and other alumni events.


To learn more about how you can volunteer for opportunities that benefit students and the college, please contact Joelle Larson, Director of Alumni Relations, (612) 626-1802, jblarson@umn.edu.