Renowned Alumni

James Gallogly, BA '74

James L. (Jim) Gallogly is president and chief executive officer of Chevron Phillips Chemical. He was elected to this position in July 2000 after having served as senior vice president of chemicals and plastics for Phillips Petroleum Company (now ConocoPhillips) since 1999.  He was vice president of olefins and polyolefins since 1998.  He was vice president of plastics in 1997.

Gallogly joined Phillips in 1980 as an attorney in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. In 1984, he became legal director for Phillips Petroleum Company Norway in Stavanger, Norway. From 1987 to 1990, he was regional chief attorney, Permian Basin Region, Odessa, Texas. He served as manager of business services for North America exploration and production from 1990 to 1992. He was finance manager for North America exploration and production for one year before accepting the position of manager of Ekofisk II for Phillips Petroleum Company Norway in 1993. In 1994 he served as manager and in 1995 as vice president for North America production.

Working full-time while attending school, Gallogly received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in 1974. He received a law degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1977. Gallogly also completed the Advanced Executive Program at the J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University in 1998. He is a member of the Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas bar associations and serves on the University of Colorado Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering Advisory Committee.

Yusef Komunyakaa, '75

Komunyakaa graduated from UCCS in 1975 with a Bachelor of Arts and he is the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize in poetry. The following information about Komunyakaa is found online at the Internet Poetry Archive, where you may learn more about him and peruse his creative writing.

In 1965, Komunyakaa enlisted in the United States Army to begin a tour of duty in Vietnam. While there, he started writing as a correspondent for the military newspaper, The Southern Cross. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his work with the paper. He left the army in the early 1970s and enrolled at UCCS. "While at Colorado, he discovered his nascent abilities as a poet in a creative writing workshop. The workshop, notes the author, was the first chance he had to write for himself. Even though he had long been an avid reader of poetry and a lover of literature, his attempts to write creatively--mainly short stories--had been unsuccessful. Inspired by his newfound love and talent, Komunyakaa went on to earn an M.A. from Colorado State University in 1978." He also received master's degrees from the University of California, Irvine.

In 1980, he joined the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, a closely-knit community of artists geared toward encouraging the self-conscious, individualistic writer. Komunyakaa completed Copacetic in 1981 after returning to Louisiana to reconsider how the music of his hometown reflected racial issues of the time.

In 1991, he won the Thomas Forcade award, in 1993 was nominated for the Los Angeles TimesBook Prize in Poetry, in 1994 he won the Pulitzer prize in poetry as well as the William Faulkner Prize from the University of Rennes in France. In 1997 Komunyakaa began teaching at Princeton University in the Council of Humanities and Creative Writing.  That same year he was awarded the Levinson Prize from Poetry magazine and the Hanes Poetry Prize. His new book from Wesleyan is Thieves of Paradise.

Yusef komunyakaa is a unique figure in American poetry and, to date, has authored eleven poetry volumes. Komunyakaa's poetry is celebrated for its short lines, its simple vernacular, its jazzy feel, and its rootedness in the poet's experience as a black of the American South, and as a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War.

Scott Oki, Business '74, Master's in Business Administration '75

Born to a Japanese-American family in Seattle, Washington, Scott Oki attended the University of Washington briefly before leaving to join the military. Oki spent the next four years playing in the Air Force’s Colorado Springs percussion section. His off-duty hours were spent taking courses at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. After he was discharged from the Air Force in 1974, Oki went on to receive his BA in accounting and information systems from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs as well as his MBA the following year.

After holding several computer-oriented jobs, Oki and some friends founded a firm to develop and sell management systems in 1980. After that failed, he went to work for Microsoft. Upon being hired in 1982, Oki single-handedly conceived, started, and built Microsoft's international operations. Within two years it was more profitable than Microsoft's U.S. operations.

By 1986, Bill Gates had made him the new vice president of sales.  Within five years Microsoft's revenues rose from $100 million to $1 billion while gross profit margins grew from 63% to over 80%, raising the U.S. division's pre-tax profits 30%. When he retired at the age of 43, after 10 years with Microsoft, Oki reportedly cashed in stock options estimated at $100 million. He now runs the non-profit Oki Foundation and spends time with his family. The birth of their children spurred their devotion to children's charities and over the past few years the Okis have donated more than $1 million to area charities.

Brenda Smith, Business '78

Managing partner for Baird Kurtz and Dobson, LLP. The firm is one of the 10 largest CPA and advisory firms in the nation.

Mary Lou Makepeace, Public Administration '79

Mary Lou Makepeace joined the Gill Foundation as the director of the Gay & Lesbian Fund for Colorado in December 2003. In this role, she oversees the fund's programs, builds alliances with Colorado communities and other nonprofits, and directs the fund's staff and policy.

Prior to joining the Gill Foundation, Mary Lou was the executive director for Leadership Pikes Peak, where she managed an array of community leadership programs designed to develop leadership skills and promote civic involvement. She was the first female mayor of Colorado Springs, serving from 1997 to 2003. As mayor, she lead a nine-member city council, served as chairman of the board of Colorado Springs Utilities and provided oversight to city-owned Memorial Hospital. In addition, she is an adjunct faculty member for the Center for Creative Leadership and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, as well as running the Mary Lou Makepeace Group.

From 1974 to 1982, Mary Lou was a caseworker working with child abuse cases, and an administrator for the El Paso County Department of Social Services. She then served as executive director of the Community Council of the Pikes Peak Region, assisting in the development of the Montgomery Center for the homeless, Project Cope to assist low income and elderly with utility bills, and the award-winning Golf Acres Senior Services Complex. She lead the child placement agency, STAY, Inc., from 1995-1997, providing out of home placement services to troubled adolescents.

Her experience also includes being a teacher at the American School in Tananarive, Madagascar; assistant to the Defense Attaché at the American Embassy in Prague, Czechoslovakia following the Soviet invasion; and the adult education officer at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany.

Mary Lou has served on a variety of state, local and national committees, including the Colorado Space Advisory Committee, the Policy Advisory Council of the American Public Power Association, the Energy Committee of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and the Leadership Training Council of the National League of Cities.

May Lou attended the Program for Senior Executives in Sate and Local Government at Harvard University, and holds a Masters of Public Affairs from the University of Colorado and a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of North Dakota.

Makepeace Bio: Copyright 2005

by the Gill Foundation


Ronald M. Sega, Ph.D. Electrical Engineering '82

"Dr. Ronald M. Sega is Under Secretary of the Air Force, Washington, D.C. Dr. Sega is responsible for all actions of the Air Force on behalf of the Secretary of the Air Force and is acting Secretary in the Secretary's absence. In that capacity, he oversees the recruiting, training and equipping of more than 710,000 people, and a budget of approximately $110 billion. Designated the Department of Defense Executive Agent for Space, Dr. Sega develops, coordinates and integrates plans and programs for space systems and the acquisition of all DoD space major defense acquisition programs.

Dr. Sega has had an extensive career in government service, academia and research. He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1974 as a distinguished graduate. His active-duty assignments included instructor pilot and Department of Physics faculty member at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He entered the Air Force Reserve in 1982 with the 901st Tactical Airlift Group at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., serving in a variety of operations positions. From 1987 to 2001 he served at Air Force Space Command in several assignments, including Mission Ready Crew Commander for satellite operations for the Global Positioning System, Defense Support Program and Midcourse Space Experiment. A command pilot with more than 4,000 flying hours, he retired from the Air Force Reserve in 2005 as a major general, last serving as the reserve assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Dr. Sega joined NASA as an astronaut in 1990, making his first shuttle flight in 1994 aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. From November 1994 to March 1995, he was NASA's Director of Operations, Russia, responsible for managing NASA activities supporting astronaut and cosmonaut training for flight on the Russian Mir space station. He completed his second shuttle flight in 1996 as payload commander for the third shuttle/Mir docking mission aboard Atlantis, completing his astronaut tenure with 420 hours in space.

Since 1982, Dr. Sega has been a faculty member in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs with a rank of professor since 1990. In addition to teaching and research activities, he was Technical Director of the Laser and Aerospace Mechanics Directorate at the U.S. Air Force Academy’s F.J. Seiler Research Laboratory, and Assistant Director of the Space Vacuum Epitaxy Center, including management of the Wake Shield Facility Flight Programs at the University of Houston. Dr. Sega was the Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado from 1996 to 2001. In August 2001, he was appointed as the Director of Defense Research and Engineering, Office of the Secretary of Defense, serving as chief technical officer for the Department and the chief adviser to the Secretary of Defense and Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics for scientific and technical matters. Dr. Sega has authored or co-authored more than 100 technical publications, has served on numerous local, regional and national advisory and governance boards, and he is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers."

Source: United States Air Force


John Herrington, Applied Math '83

Herrington graduated from UCCS in 1983 with a bachelor of science degree in applied mathematics. He continued his education at the U.S. Naval Post Graduate School and became a U.S. Navy commander. He joined NASA in 1996 and was a part of the Endeavor flight mission in 2002. He is the first American Indian and the second UCCS graduate to fly in space. He is a member of the UCCS Alumni Association and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society.

An Oklahoma-born Chickasaw, John Harrington was the first tribally registered Native American astronaut launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for the 16th American assembly flight to the International Space Station last November.

Herrington received his BS in applied mathematics from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in 1983. He received his commission from Aviation Officer Candidate School in March of 1984 and was designated a Naval Aviator in March of 1985. He was selected to attend the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Maryland in January of 1990. After graduation, he reported to the Force Warfare Aircraft Test Directorate as a project test pilot for the Joint Primary Aircraft Training System. In 1995, he received his MS degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. Following graduation, Herrington was assigned as a special projects officer to the Bureau of Naval Personnel Sea Duty Component.

Selected by NASA in April 1996, Herrington reported to the Johnson Space Center where he completed two years of training and evaluation and was qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist. During his flight assignment on the Endeavour, Herrington carried eagle feathers with him and logged over 330 hours in space. He is currently the Vice President and Director of Flight Systems at Rocketplane, Inc.

Herrington is a life member of the Association of Naval Aviation and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Alumni Association. Harrington is also a Sequoyah Fellow as well as a member of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society. He and his wife, Debra, have two children.

Luis Velez, MA '89

On May 13, 2002, Luis Velez was sworn in as the Chief of Police for the Colorado Springs Police Department. He has served the Colorado Springs community since 1975. Prior to this current assignment he was the Deputy Chief in command of the Operations Support Bureau. Velez also held the rank of Captain where he directed the Office of Professional Standards, Gold Hill Division, Central Division, and Sand Creek Division. He served in a variety of assignments throughout the department as an officer, Sergeant, and Lieutenant, to include being a Hostage Negotiator, Homicide investigator, and Community Relations Sergeant.

Chief Velez is an active member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Police Executive Research Forum. Chief Velez was instrumental in creating the department’s Gang Intervention program (GangNet) in 1991; he also served as the Director of Security for the World Police & Fire games in 1993, and the U.S. Olympic Festival in 1995. Most recently, Chief Velez was recognized for his leadership in commanding all CSPD personnel in the successful capture of the remaining two Texas fugitives at the Holiday Inn on Garden of the Gods Road. That capture took place on January 23, 2001.

Chief Velez holds a Doctor of Management degree from Colorado Technical University; a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs; and a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from the University of Southern Colorado. He holds a certificate in Law Enforcement Management from the Graduate School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado, and he has completed programs at the Center for Creative Leadership, the Western Institute for Police Administration, and the Center for Public Management. He is a graduate of both the FBI National Academy, 171st Session and the National Executive Institute, Session XXVI.

Kristin Donovan, Public Administration '00


Vice President of the Daniels Fund Grants Program. The largest foundation in the Rocky Mountain region, the Daniels Fund allocates resources for college scholarships and programs that serve disadvantaged members of the community.


Kae Rader, Public Administration '03


Vice President at El Pomar Foundation, Colorado Springs. Based in Colorado Springs, El Pomar Foundation is one of the largest and oldest private foundations in the Rocky Mountain West, with assets totaling $500 million. El Pomar contributes approximately $20 million annually through grants and community stewardship programs to support Colorado nonprofit organizations involved in health, human services, education, arts and humanities, and civic and community initiatives.