UAF alumnus, emeritus named to ROTC Hall of Fame

The University of Alaska Fairbanks will honor alumnus and Professor Emeritus Donald Cook for his recent induction to the U.S. Army ROTC Hall of Fame during an event Wednesday, Aug. 31, at 4 p.m. in Schaible Auditorium on the Fairbanks campus.

Cook, who passed away in 2009, was a member of the first four-year ROTC class at what was then the University of Alaska. Following his ROTC graduation in 1943, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He landed on Utah Beach on June 7, 1944, the day after D-Day, as a platoon leader in a heavy weapons platoon in F Company, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. He participated in the allied assault through northern France and was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Combat Infantryman’s Badge.

After the war, Cook returned to to Fairbanks and resumed his studies, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1947. After spending a decade as an engineer for the Fairbanks Exploration Co., he and his wife, Cora, moved to the East Coast, where he enrolled in graduate school at Pennsylvania State University. He earned a master’s degree and doctorate there, and then returned to Fairbanks to join the UAF faculty. In addition to training hundreds of engineers throughout his career, he also served as the dean of the School of Mining, Petroleum and Geological Engineering and the director of the Mineral Industry Research Laboratory. Cook retired from UAF and was named professor emeritus of mineral beneficiation.

Cook was among 326 former cadets who were part of the first group of inductees to the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Hall of Fame. The inductees were honored at a ceremony this summer at Fort Knox, Kentucky, home of the U.S. Army Cadet Command. The U.S. Army ROTC is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

At Wednesday’s event, Cook’s son, Galen Cook, will speak about what UAF and ROTC meant to his father and will present the Hall of Fame award to UAF for permanent display on campus.

CONTACT: Capt. Troy Robinson, assistant professor of military science, 474-6853, tdrobinson@alaska.edu.

ON THE WEB:
UAF ROTC – https://www.uaf.edu/rotc/
ROTC Hall of Fame – http://www.cadetcommand.army.mil/hof/default.htm
Army Cadet Command news release – https://www.army.mil/article/169545/cadet_command_inducts_first_group_of_former_cadets_into_hall_of_fame

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