University News

Rodeffer Chosen 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award Winner

December 3, 2012


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MACOMB, IL – Frank Rodeffer, a 1961 graduate of Western Illinois University, has been named the WIU College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award winner for 2012.

Rodeffer will receive his award at the annual CAS scholarship dinner Saturday, Dec. 8 in the University Union at WIU.

Over the years, Rodeffer has been supportive of WIU and its physics department, helping with various scholarship programs. He has said many times, "if my small contribution can keep one talented, bright student from having to drop out for financial reasons, it will have been well worth it."

After coming to WIU in 1957, as a physics major in the School of Education, Rodeffer participated in the Physics Club. He later received an Federal Communication Commission (FCC) commercial radio-telephone license and worked as an engineer and eventually, chief engineer, at the WIU FM radio station (then WWKS-FM). He was a charter member of the national service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega (APO), Mu Nu Chapter, which was formed in 1958 at WIU.

Following graduation, Rodeffer entered graduate school with the intention of pursuing a master's degree in guidance and counseling. In December 1962, on the verge of being drafted, Frank joined the U.S. Air Force.

Following commissioning in the USAF, Rodeffer and his wife, Peggy, moved to Biloxi, MS, where Rodeffer graduated from the basic communications electronics officer in January 1964. In November 1967, he returned to Biloxi, where he attended the staff officer communications electronics course, graduating in June 1968.

In the military, Rodeffer served in Strategic Air Command (SAC) with one three-year assignment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). He was assigned to bases in Michigan, Guam, Nebraska, The Netherlands, Kansas and North Dakota and received numerous awards and commendations.

After retiring from the military, Rodeffer began working for TRW as an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) systems engineer and technical advisor at Hill Air Force Base (AFB), Layton, UT. He retired in 2003 as a senior project manager for strategic nuclear C3 systems from Northrop Gruman, formerly TRW.

In October 2003, Rodeffer returned to Northrop to provide technical and program expertise for a future ICBM weapon system. Then in April 2004, he was requested to return to his office in Colorado Springs to work on another ICBM project, before formally retiring.

Rodeffer has been a licensed radio amateur since 1960 and continues to enjoy this hobby. He belongs to several amateur radio clubs and groups in Colorado and attends meetings and conferences. Rodeffer also enjoys the outdoors and fishing. He is active in the professional organizations to which he belongs.


Posted By: WIU News (U-Relations@wiu.edu)
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