2015 DISTINGUISHED GRADUATES
March 30, 2015
Wyandotte Distinguished Graduate
Cooper, Terrance Gary - 1960
Shepler, William R. - 1950
Terrance Gary Cooper - Class of 1960
Terrance Gary Cooper distinguished himself as a
world- enowned educator and scholar in the fields of
microbiology and immunology, as an author of
numerous scientific studies, and as a mentor-trainer
for graduate students and faculty members.
Terry Cooper graduated from Roosevelt High School
in 1960. He was a member of the W.A.A.C. class and
the National Honor Society. His interest in
photography placed him on the Wy-News staff, where he served as editor of Roosevelt's student newspaper.
Terry Cooper attended Wayne State University and earned his B.S. degree in Biology in 1965 and his M.S. degree in Chemistry in 1967. Terry earned his Ph.D. in Biology in 1969 from Purdue University. He completed a post-doctoral Fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in biology from 1969-71.
Terry Cooper began his career as a researcher in microbiology and immunology at the University of Pittsburgh. In 1971, he was the Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Genetics. During his last four years at the University of Pittsburgh, Terry Cooper served as the Audrey Avinoff Professor of Biology, Biochemistry and Genetics.
In 1985, Professor Terry Cooper began his long association with the University of Tennessee. His official title was Harriet S. Van Vleet Professor of Microbiology and Immunology. Cooper was the Department Chairman of the Health Sciences Center, and the Director of the Molecular Resource Center.
The focus of Professor Cooper's life-long research was the study of the UT Yeast group and how the use of the Rapamycin family of drugs affects tissue and organ rejection, multiple cancers, stents, coagulation and other downstream cellular processes and events.
His position at the University of Tennessee allowed him to work with and train graduate students from around the world. The 37 students who studied with Professor Cooper would bring their knowledge of microbiology and immunology research to their home countries where they would continue to improve the health care of the world.
As Director of the Memphis Molecular Resource Center for over 16 years, Professor Cooper also mentored 24 faculty members.
In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Professor Cooper presented 37 lectures annually on Molecular Techniques and Dental Biochemistry at the university. Cooper also presented hundreds of scientific papers, guest lectures, and presentations on microbiology and immunology, to university and government health organizations the world over. Cooper has participated in symposiums in Austria, Canada, Spain, South Africa, Egypt, Mexico, Italy, Czech Republic, Portugal, England, Poland and Australia. Professor Cooper's work has also been part of almost every university or health organization in the United States.
Professor Terry Cooper serves on many professional organizations as chairman or board member. Cooper is also on the editorial boards of such scientific publications as The Journal of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Biology and FEMS Yeast Research. Cooper also serves as a senior consultant for the Gulf Oil Corporation and Nippon Mining Corporation.
In addition to Professor Cooper's 234 published research studies and presentations, his 1977 publication of The Tools of Biochemistry has become the classic text for health scholars world-wide. Now in its 17th printing, this textbook is available in Chinese, French, Spanish and German editions.
His 44 years of dedicated service have earned Terry Cooper many honors and awards. More than 40 organizations have recognized his scholarship and contributions to the fields of microbiology and immunology. The world has honored a truly dedicated scientist.
In spite of all the accolades that have been awarded to Terry Cooper, his personal philosophy has always guided his dedicated service to the humanity: "Accomplishment is not about what you get, but what you give to those in whose lives you are privileged to participate."
Terrance Cooper and his wife, Martha Howe, live in Memphis, Tennessee. They enjoy their two sons, Mark and Gregory, and their families. (Printable PDF Version).
William R. Shepler - Class of 1950
William Shepler distinguished himself as a dedicated
business executive, a renowned ski instructor and a
promoter of tourism throughout the State of Michigan.
William graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1950,
where he participated in varsity football and track.
Shepler was a proud member of the 1949 football team
that captured the Border City League Championship,
and went on to be named state champions after beating
the revered Grand Rapids Union High School.
William Shepler attended Ohio Wesleyan University, where he earned his B.A. degree with majors in business and sociology in 1954. While at OWU, William played varsity football, and was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. After his university studies, William immediately began filling a ROTC obligation. He joined the United States Air Force, where he worked as an airplane maintenance specialist and earned his pilot's license.
Bill, as he was known to his friends, grew up working at his father's family business: Shepler's Mackinac Island Ferry Company. He and his children would learn the business as teenagers. With the death of his father in 1988, William Shepler would become CEO of the company. Under the leadership of Bill, the Shepler Ferry Company has grown into Mackinac's finest and largest ferry service. In 1993, the family added a freight handling service to their ferry business. Now Mackinac Island can be serviced all year long with supplies and large equipment shipments.
Bill was an accomplished skier and hockey player. With the family ferry business closed in the winter months, this allowed Bill to share his talents in many unique ways. In 1958, Bill accepted a position on the ski patrol in Aspen, Colorado. He also began a long relationship at Boyne Highlands. By 1960 he was a master instructor, presented training seminars, and was recognized as the examiner (certified instructor licensing) for the Central Division of Professional Ski Instructors of America.
Shepler also founded Captain Billy's Ski Cruise, which each year teaches advanced skiing skills to selected enthusiasts. In 1978,
Bill served as chairman and co-founder of the Northern Michigan Ski Academy, whose purpose is to develop ski racers. Today, the N.M. Ski Academy trains over 400 racers annually.
Bill also sponsored several hockey games between the instructors and skiing participants over the years. He proudly remembers several Detroit Red Wings members who joined in those special events.
One of Bill Shepler's most enjoyable volunteer projects was serving as coach for the Harbor Springs High School ski teams for over 8 years. Under his guidance, the girls ski team won a State Championship in 1988-the first for the school! The success of Bill's coaching at H.S.H.S. encouraged him to work with the local Kiwanis Club to develop a skiing program for 1st - 6th graders in the city's elementary schools. The Shay Elementary Ski Program in the Harbor Spring School District is still promoting physical fitness and future skiers.
Over the years that Bill Shepler was busy with his family business and his work with the skiing associations, he also devoted himself to serving the State of Michigan and the tourist industry. Bill Shepler served as vice-president on the Mackinaw Center Chamber of Commerce and served eight years on the Historic Streetscape Committee. Bill was president of the Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum and also served eight years on the Michigan Travel Commission for several years. Bill Shepler was a co-founder of Circle Michigan and served as its president.
For his outstanding efforts, Bill was recognized and honored many times. The Michigan Travel Bureau presented Shepler with the Disney Mouse Car Award. The Mackinaw Chamber of Commerce named Bill its Man of the Year. The National Tour Association presented Bill with the Bob Everidge Lifetime Achievement Award and a Distinguished Service Award. Bill also was presented with the prestigious Michigan Ambassador to Tourism Award for his years of dedicated service promoting "Pure Michigan".
William Shepler and his wife, Suzanne, live in Good Hart, Michigan and enjoy their three children and their families. (Printable PDF Version)