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Published October 08, 2019
Four University of Wyoming graduates will be honored for their professional achievements during Homecoming Oct. 12-19.
David Emery, Ret. Col. Robert Fiero, Stan Grad and John List are the recipients of the 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award. The UW Alumni Association (UWAA) presents the awards.
The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes alumni who have achieved excellence in their profession; appreciate the impact of their UW education; and are people of integrity, stature and demonstrated ability. To date, 198 alumni have received the recognition.
"The Distinguished Alumni recognition represents some of the highest awards to alumni from the university. The 2019 honorees are a great inspiration to the alumni and students who witness all of the great accomplishments by these graduates," says Keener Fry, UWAA executive director. "Recognizing these alumni brings honor and distinction to the University of Wyoming."
The UWAA will celebrate these honorees during Homecoming activities, including the UW Distinguished Alumni Dinner (invitation only) Friday, Oct. 18; the parade Saturday, Oct. 19; and an announcement at halftime of the Homecoming football game against New Mexico.
Emery earned a bachelor’s degree (1985) in petroleum engineering from UW. He began working in the oil and gas industry, eventually taking a job in 1989 at Black Hills Corp., a publicly traded electric and natural gas utility headquartered in Rapid City, S.D. Emery began in the oil and gas division, ultimately managing it. His duties later expanded to include coal mining and energy marketing.
He was promoted to lead utilities, eventually becoming chair and CEO. The company has provided generous financial support to UW. Emery has guest lectured for the UW College of Business and College of Law in the MBA Program, and Black Hills has sponsored numerous MBA student projects. The company annually participates in Black Hills Day, when employees, mostly UW alumni, visit classes, give talks and network.
Emery recently retired as CEO after 15 years in that role and now serves as executive chair until he fully retires next May. He currently serves as a member of UW’s College of Business Advisory Board and the Energy Resource Council for the School of Energy Resources.
Ret. Col. Robert Fiero
Fiero earned a bachelor’s degree (1960) in general agriculture from UW; a Master of Public Administration degree from Auburn University; and graduated (1980) from the Air War College.
He came to UW on a track scholarship and participated in Army ROTC. Fiero served in Germany, Vietnam, Korea and in the U.S. In his early work at the Pentagon, he was deputy chief of staff for personnel for training division.
At the Pentagon, he also served the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence (C3I). He attended National Security Council meetings and served on President-elect Ronald Reagan’s transition team. After his retirement, he worked for a government contractor, Cubic, and led the transition of the Army into the 21st century.
Following work with the government contractor, he started his own business and helped run the family ranch. Fiero is active in the Cowboy Joe Club Steer-A-Year program and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Grad earned a bachelor’s degree (1971) in petroleum engineering from UW. He grew up in Alberta, Canada, and worked in the oil fields of central Alberta for two years, then decided to attend UW.
He has had a long and distinguished career in the energy industry, founding Grad & Walker Energy with his partner Willard Walker (co-founder of Walmart) after he directed and served as chair on a number of energy companies. He and wife Jane, along with partners/managers Scott and Elan Lees, own Soderglen Ranches, one of the largest seedstock cattle operations in Canada.
Grad has lent his long-term support to STARS, the largest community-based air rescue program in the world. He is chair of Abrio Health, with plans to bring a health park to his hometown. He also chairs the Punta Mita Hospital Foundation in Punta Mita, Mexico, where he spearheaded a fundraising effort to convert a local private hospital to a trauma care center for residents. Grad is a founding member of the Calgary Stampede Foundation.
List received his Ph.D. in economics (1996) from UW. He is the Kenneth C. Griffin Distinguished Service Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago. List joined the University of Chicago faculty in 2005 and served as chair of the Department of Economics from 2012-18.
He was a professor at the University of Central Florida, University of Arizona and University of Maryland. His research focuses on questions in microeconomics, with a particular emphasis on using field experiments to address both positive and normative issues.
For decades, his field experimental research has focused on issues related to the inner-workings of markets; the effects of various incentives schemes on market equilibria and allocations; how behavioral economics can augment the standard economic model on early childhood education and interventions; and, most recently, on the gender earnings gap in the gig economy, using evidence from rideshare drivers.
His research includes more than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles and several published books, including the 2013 international bestseller “The Why Axis: Hidden Motives and the Undiscovered Economics of Everyday Life.”
For more information about the recipients or awards, call the UWAA at (307) 766-4166, visit www.uwyo.edu/alumni, or view the September issue of UWyo Magazine.