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UW Alumni Honored for Accomplishments

September 5, 2017
photos of Stephen and Patricia Adams, Dick Agee, M. Margaret McKeown and Mimi Fenton

Four University of Wyoming alumni will be honored for their professional achievements during this year’s UW Homecoming, Oct. 21-28.

Stephen Adams, Richard “Dick” Agee, M. Margaret McKeown and Mary C. “Mimi” Fenton have been selected for the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award.

The Distinguished Alumni Award, presented by the UW Alumni Association, recognizes alumni who have achieved excellence in their professions, who appreciate the impact of their UW education and who are persons of integrity, stature and demonstrated ability. Since its inception in 1953, 191 alumni have received this recognition.

“The Distinguished Alumni Award is a great inspiration to the alumni and students who witness all of the great accomplishments past graduates have produced,” says UW Alumni Association Executive Director Keener Fry. “Recognizing these alumni brings honor and distinction to the name of the University of Wyoming.”

Stephen Adams

Adams has dedicated his life to serving others as a pharmacist, researcher, military veteran and philanthropist. Adams served as part of Task Force Katrina, both as the chief pharmacist and commanding officer in the only operating clinic in Louisiana’s St. Bernard Parish. He served on the United Nations peacekeeping force in Croatia, helping to establish a civilian hospital. He served in combat support hospitals during post-9/11 Operation Noble Eagle, during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“It required management skill and organizing thinking,” Adams says of this support role. “It required logistics, it required security, patient care, supplies -- all that stuff you learn in pharmacy for a hospital setting.”

Adams is now a clinical pharmacist and the first fellow at the University of Texas MD Anderson Hospital and Cancer Institute in Houston. One way he has served is by contributing to the development of drugs to treat cancer and other illnesses.

Adams earned a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from UW. He and his wife, Pat, have established the Dr. Stephen and Patricia Adams School of Pharmacy Student Service and Leadership Fund, which provides scholarships for UW pharmacy students and encourages service and leadership.

Richard “Dick” Agee

Agee grew up in Cheyenne. He came to UW on an athletic scholarship and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in petroleum engineering. He joined Skelly Oil and then, several years later, joined Gulf Oil Co. Then, he relocated to Borneo, Indonesia, to manage a project that became the world’s largest LNG production and liquefaction operation. After 12 years in Indonesia, Agee decided to pursue his own ventures as an independent oil and gas operator, founding, creating and selling several oil and gas companies. He also has built several oil and gas service companies.

Agee’s involvement with UW includes former membership on the College of Engineering and Applied Science Advisory Board, and the UW Foundation Board. In 2012, he joined the Wyoming Governor’s Energy, Engineering, STEM Integration Task Force. Agee and wife Judy’s most recent gift of $1 million, doubled to $2 million through state matching, supports the new Engineering Education and Research Building.

Mary C. “Mimi” Fenton

Fenton, UW English alumna and prominent Milton scholar and professor, says she loves scholarship but feels most passionate about teaching. Fenton graduated from UW with a bachelor’s degree (with honors) and a master’s degree in English before going on to earn her Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky. She is a leading scholar, researcher and teacher of John Milton (1608-1674), a 17th century English poet and author of the epic poem “Paradise Lost.” She has published numerous articles and four books that have received high academic praise. Since 1992, she has taught at Western Carolina University, where she also served as dean of the graduate school and research.

Fenton has earned numerous honors and awards, including the South Atlantic Modern Language Association Excellence in Teaching Award and the University of North Carolina Board of Governors Award for Teaching Excellence. Next year, she will research and teach in Budapest, Hungary, as a Fulbright Scholar.

The Honorable M. Margaret McKeown

Casper native McKeown has dedicated her career to equal justice and community service. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UW in 1972 with her bachelor’s degree in international relations and Spanish, after attending the University of Madrid. While in college, she worked both in Washington, D.C., and Wyoming as a staff member for U.S. Sen. Clifford P. Hansen. She then earned a law degree and an honorary doctorate from Georgetown University Law School, where she now chairs the Board of Visitors. The first woman partner in the firm of Perkins Coie, McKeown practiced in Washington, D.C., and Seattle, and became an international expert in digital and intellectual property law.

McKeown served as a White House Fellow under Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. She served as special assistant to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Cecil Andrus and as a special assistant at the White House. In 1998, Judge McKeown was appointed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The chief justice appointed her to chair the ethics committee for federal judges. She has served as president of the Federal Judges Association and chairs the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative, working with judges and lawyers around the world. She is an adjunct professor of law at Northwestern University, Georgetown University and the University of San Diego.

McKeown has received a number of prestigious awards for her work in women’s rights and community service, including the Girl Scouts Cool Woman Award, and this fall she will receive the White House Fellows Legacy of Leadership Award.

The Alumni Association will celebrate these honorees during Homecoming activities, including the President’s Homecoming Recognition Dinner (invitation only) Oct. 26, activities with their colleges, participating in the parade Oct. 28 and an announcement during the Cowboys’ football game Oct. 28.

For more information about this year’s recipients, call the UW Alumni Association at (307) 766-4166, visit, or view the September issue of UWyo Magazine.

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