USU Alumni Spotlight - Tom Quinly

Tom Quinly's been climbing high ever since his years at Utah State University where, in addition to earning his degree in Industrial Technology (BS 1980), he also earned his Private Pilots license and the FAA's Airframes and Power Plants Mechanics (A&P) license. Getting air without wings, while at USU, Tom also earned accreditation as a Ski Instructor with the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA). All great preparation for his current job, president of Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing, where he leads the world's largest defense and aerospace-focused embedded computing company.

Embedded Computing, a division of the 77 year-old company created through the merger of the operations founded by legendary aviation pioneers Glenn Curtiss and Wilbur & Orville Wright, is helping to set the course for Curtiss-Wright in the 21st Century. Glenn Curtiss and the Wright Brothers would recognize in Tom both a fellow pilot and visionary businessman.

After completing his studies at USU, Tom combined his interests in engineering, business, and aviation when he joined Lockheed in Burbank, California, where he began a successful career as a Field Service Representative for the L1011 commercial airplane. In 1983, he joined the Lockheed Missile and Space Company in Austin, Texas. There he held a variety of leadership roles in Operations with a focus on electronics manufacturing. In the meantime, Tom also earned his MBA from St. Edwards University. After Lockheed, Tom gained additional management experience in leadership positions at a top defense electronics company, Allied Signal Aerospace, and a premier medical electronics manufacturer, Advanced Technology Laboratories.

Today, based in Leesburg, Virginia, Tom leads Embedded Computing's over 700 employees and numerous major operation centers located throughout North America and England, including business units in San Diego, California; Ontario, Canada; Santa Clarita, California; Littleton, Massachusetts; Dayton, Ohio; and Cambridge, UK. The Embedded Computing Group provides state-of-the-art open systems architecture commercial and rugged computing boards, chassis, graphics components, and subsystems for aerospace, defense and commercial markets.

From their home in Leesburg, Virginia, Tom and his wife, Rose, balance time between their three children and a challenging career. When time allows, Tom heads outdoors to challenge himself on the land, sea and air - still skiing and flying, he's added golf, scuba diving, and sailing to his favorite pursuits.

David Kragthorpe Retires
David Kragthorpe is retiringÖ again. As was reported in the January 2006 issue of Aggie Insights, Kragthorpe has been a driving force within the USU Alumni Association. Most recently, he was responsible for overseeing the Northern Nevada and Idaho aggie chapters, a position he accepted after retiring from alumni relations the first time in 2001.

Kragthorpe graduated from USU in 1955 and went on to become a successful football coach at Montana, BYU, South Dakota State, Idaho State, and Oregon State. He also served as athletics director at Utah State University before joining the Alumni Association to head the aggie chapters program.

A retirement banquet was held in January with Kragthorpeís friends and colleagues. Today, he and his wife, Barbara, split their time between Logan and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Utah State Honors Vernon M. Buehler
For his service to Utah State University, Vernon M. Buehler was honored with a special reception at the USU Presidentís home. In the years since his graduation from Utah State Agricultural College in 1937, Mr. Buehler has made a significant impact at his alma mater. During his 21 years as a management professor, he founded the nationally recognized Partners in Business program. This program brings prominent figures from the business world to USU to instruct students and professionals alike. Partners in Business is still going strong today after three decades.

Following his retirement from Utah State in 1989 and the passing of his wife, MaRee, Mr. Buehler set to work as a volunteer and philanthropist. He served as a volunteer professor in Poland, Ukraine, and Russia for three years. Later he traveled to Thailand where he consulted with USUís Skills Development Project.

Locally, Mr. Buehler has volunteered at Loganís Sunshine Terrace for over 20 years. He also funds two endowments in the Partners in Business Program and five scholarship endowments in the College of Business.

Performance Hall's First Concert A Success
The new Manon Caine Russell Kathryn Caine Wanlass Performance Hall hosted its first event on January 14, 2006. The special concert and gala reception marked the official opening of the facility. The audience, which included President Albrecht and his wife, Joyce, enjoyed a world class piano recital from Jean-Efflam Bavouzet. Paolo Fazioli, the head of the Italian company that built the concert hallís piano, flew to Logan especially for the concert. Following the event, Fazioli signed the piano.

AT&T Donates $10,000 To Internship Program
The political science departmentís internship program received a boost in the form of a $10,000 donation from AT&T. L.J. Godfrey, an Aggie himself, presented the check at a formal luncheon at Hamilton ís Steak House. Over the past four years, USU has sent 139 interns to Washington D.C., with 56 of those students accepting jobs in the D.C. area. Though the program is successful it lacks an endowment to assist with expenses. For this reason, donations are important.

USU Students Triumph At Rocket Competition
USU mechanical engineering students recently had the opportunity to test their design skills at the university launch competition near Green River, Utah. Students participated over several years to build a rocket which they named Chimaera after the mythical beast. USU was joined at the competition by students from the University of Alabama-Huntsville.

After reaching a height of approximately 5,700 feet, the 25 foot long USU rocket suffered a recovery system malfunction and crashed to the ground. A similar fate befell the UAH rocket as well. When the dust settled, Utah State was declared the competition winner because of the studentsí professionalism and involvement.

The contest was organized by USU Adjunct Professor Paul Mueller and the Experimental Sounding Rocket Association. Also sponsoring the event was the USU Space Dynamics Lab and Utah State University. R. Gil Moore, a renowned scientist and former USU professor, judged the event.

President Albrecht's "Transformations"
Though Stan Albrecht officially became USUís 15th president in December 2005, his administration has already seen many changes, tragedies, and triumphs. Now all Aggies can read the new presidentís vision and goals for the future of Utah State University. Transformation - A Celebration of Utah State University was prepared from the text of President Albrechtís inaugural speech.

Read your copy of Transformation here.

Alumni Online Store Coming Soon
The Alumni Association is preparing to launch its own online store. The store will feature special Aggie apparel and merchandise at great prices. The launch is anticipated to occur sometime in February.

If you would like to be notified by email when the online store is available, send your email address to and include "eStore Notification" in the subject line.

Alumni Calendar Desktop Background Downloads
The Alumni Calendar has become a much sought after item because of its beautiful and unique photos of campus and Cache Valley. Now those beautiful shots are available for your computerís desktop background, free of charge. This month, three of the photos that appear in the calendar are featured. More desktop backgrounds will be available in future issues of Aggie Insights.

To view and download your own desktop background, click here.

Back to the Buzzer

Skiing at the Winter Carnival in 1940


Utah State University Alumni Relations sponsors many exciting events throughout the year. To keep informed about the most current ones, visit often.




Chapter News

Cache County Aggie Chapter
January 14, 2006 - Join the Cache County Aggie Chapter and your fellow Aggies at a Pregame Party on March 4, 2006 from 4-6 p.m. The party will take place at Hamilton’s as the Aggie basketball team gets ready to take on San Jose State at the Spectrum. To reserve your spot, contact Alumni Relations at 435.797.2055.

USU Aggie Tournament Party
Sponsored by the Northern Nevada Aggie Chapter
March 10, 2006 - Join us in Reno and cheer on your Aggies as they battle for their first WAC Tournament title! Travel packages are available that include a three-night stay, round-trip airfare, and admission to the USU Tournament Party at the Poolside Terrace Room, John Ascuaga's Nugget, on Friday, March 10 3-5 p.m.

Contact Columbus Travel for more travel information at 800.373.3328. For tournament party tickets, call the Alumni Relations office at 800.291.ALUM.

Portland Aggie Chapter
February 23, 2006 - All Aggies are invited to the Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel for a scholarship fundraising dinner. The event will take place Thursday, February 23, 2006. A reception will start at 6:00 p.m. with dinner following at 7:00 p.m. The cost is $30 per person.

For more information, or to make your reservation, contact the Alumni Relations office at 800.291.ALUM.


Aggies Athletes Excel On And Off The Field
The academic all-WAC teams were announced in January, with Utah State athletes earning 35 spots. This mark places USU third in the WAC, just behind Fresno State (37 selections) and Boise State (36 selections). Behind USU were Idaho and Hawaii, each with 26 selections.

For a complete list of all the student-athlete selections, click here.

Coach Morrill Gets 400th Career Win
If thereís one thing USU Basketball Head Coach Stew Morrill knows how to do, its win. The popular Aggie coach became one of only 27 active Division I coaches to achieve 400 career wins. The milestone came January 30, 2006 against Hawaii. Following the game, the team awarded Coach Morrill the game ball.

For their next game, the Aggies will try to avenge an earlier season loss to New Mexico State at home.

Bracketbuster Game Announced
USU basketball will participate in the fourth annual Bracketbusters presented by eBay. This year, the Aggies will take on Northwestern State on February 18 at 8:05 p.m. (MT). The game will be featured on ESPNU.

For more information, visit the USU Athletics website.

Travel Opportunities

For more information on upcoming alumni travel events, visit

Tour of Italy's Great Cities
May 9 -17, 2006
Join fellow Aggies on this nine-day trip through Italy. Visit the highlights of Rome, Florence, and Venice; stop at the Leaning Tower of Pisa; marvel at Juliet's Balcony in Verona; and drive through the Chianti wine region of Tuscany.

Yangtze River Cruise and China Tour
September 12 - 23, 2006
Discover this remarkable and interesting nation with the USU Alumni Association as you see and experience many of the important highlights of China, starting with its Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, and more. Youíll visit the Terracotta Warriors in Xiían, take a fascinating three-day cruise on the Yangtze River, and conclude your trip in Shanghai.
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