Rutland and Stinson III Join College of Engineering Hall of Distinction

Dean Wornat posing with Pepper Rutland and John Stinson III BATON ROUGE – James B. “Pepper” Rutland, founder and president/chief executive officer of MMR Group Inc., and John H. Stinson III, CEO and president of TEI Software Development, were both recently inducted into the LSU College of Engineering Hall of Distinction.

The college established the Hall of Distinction in 1979 to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the engineering profession. Criteria for election includes distinguished professional achievement, dedicated service to engineering and outstanding humanitarian activities.

Rutland was a member of the first graduating class in LSU’s Construction Technology program, today known as the Bert S. Turner Department of Construction Management. He also excelled in athletics, playing outside linebacker and serving as defensive team captain for the LSU Tigers, making the Southeastern Conference Academic Team in 1971 and 1972.

In 1991, he founded MMR Group Inc., an electrical and instrumentation firm in Baton Rouge. It is the largest privately owned merit shop electrical and instrumentation contractor in the country, with 26 branch offices across the United States, Canada, Colombia, Trinidad, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Panama.

Through MMR, Rutland has given more than $1 million to the College of Engineering and provided internships and summer job opportunities to students.

“To this day, it remains an honor to be among so many great leaders who graduated from the first class of the LSU Construction Technology program,” Rutland said. “I continue to be amazed at the talent which comes from my alma mater, and for that, I owe this university much gratitude. I sincerely thank the College of Engineering, and particularly the Construction Management program, for this humbling and prestigious honor.”

Stinson III earned his industrial engineering degree from LSU before earning an MBA from Southern Illinois University. In addition to his role at TEI Software Development, he is the owner of Stinson Map Company and Dalrymple Press. He has been a licensed professional engineer in Louisiana since 1975 and is a past recipient of the Louisiana State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors Certificate of Merit for “outstanding services in maintaining high standards and promoting the profession of engineering.”

“Those graduating from the LSU College of Engineering have an advantage not conferred on graduates of many engineering schools,” Stinson III said. “LSU Engineering’s national, now global, reputation gives its alumni significant head starts in their careers.

“I want to thank (College of Engineering) Dean Judy Wornat; Dr. Dimitris Nikitopoulos, chair of the Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering; and the faculty members and others who supported my nomination for selection to the Hall of Distinction. Reading the list of those previously selected for this honor makes me feel extremely fortunate to be included in such a group.”

Also during the ceremony, four undergraduate students were recognized as recipients of the Donald W. Clayton Engineering Excellence Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Students, a one-time award of $5,000. Receiving the award were Christopher Adams, a senior in petroleum engineering from St. Louis, Mo.; Logan Betzer, a senior in civil engineering from Metairie, La.; Giuliano “Jake Campesi, a senior in chemical engineering from White Castle, La.; and Kyle Huber, a senior in mechanical engineering from Lake Charles, La.

Additionally, two PhD students were selected to receive the Donald Clayton Engineering Excellence Award for Outstanding Graduate Students – Matthew Upshaw, civil engineering student, and Paige Boudreaux, industrial engineering student.

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