The Washington State University Alumni Association created the Alumni Achievement Award in 1969 to honor alumni who have rendered significant service and contributions to their profession, community, and/or WSU. Four individuals were recognized recently.

Merle Sande, M.D.

Dr. Merle A. Sande (’61 Zool.), Salt Lake City, is one of the country’s foremost authorities on infectious disease and AIDS. He spent 16 years as professor and vice chair of internal medicine, University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine, and chief of medical services at San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH). From 1996 to 2002, he was a professor and chair of the Department of Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine. When he left SFGH, where he established a compassionate, cost-efficient treatment program for AIDS patients, a colleague said, “We have lost one of our greatest teachers, one of the greatest advocates for the poor in San Francisco.”

Two years ago, Sande and Dr. Hank McKinnell, CEO of the Pfizer Pharmaceutical Co., conceived and funded the Academic Alliance for AIDS Care and Prevention in Africa. The alliance includes five professors of medicine/infectious diseases in North America and nine professors from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Sande is president of a foundation established to ensure the sustainability of the alliance-now the Infectious Disease Institution-as a part of Makerere. More than $25 million has been raised to fight Africa’s HIV/AIDS epidemic.

The Mount Vernon native graduated from the University of Washington School of Medicine in 1965.

Lola Story Finch

Lola Story Finch (’65 Home Ec., ’73 M.A. Educ.), Pullman, helped develop WSU’s financial aid program into one of the nation’s finest programs of its type. After service as secretary for the Big Sky Conference, the Pullman native joined WSU in 1967 as a financial aid counselor. She rose through the ranks to assistant and associate director of students, and director of student financial aid. As director of the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid, she oversaw all student financial programs, including scholarships.

In 1988 she was named director of grants and special projects within the Division of Student Affairs. In that capacity, she was responsible for gaining external funding support for programs. Later she was named interim director, Office of Student Financial Aid. Her career included a three-year term with the U.S. Office of Education’s Advisory Council of Financial Aid to Students, and the presidencies of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, and the Washington State Financial Aid Association.

As a student, Finch was president of the Associated Women Students and was named Outstanding Senior Woman. Her community efforts include co-chairing Pullman Memorial Hospital’s fund-raising campaign.

When she retired in 1995, WSU president Samuel H. Smith saluted Finch for “positively impacting the lives of thousands of students.”

H. Thomas Norris, M.D.

Before retiring in 1997 Dr. H. Thomas Norris enjoyed a distinguished career in teaching and medicine. He spent 14 years at East Carolina School of Medicine, Greenville, North Carolina, as professor and chair, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

The WSU graduate (’56 Pre-Med) earned his M.D. from the University of Southern California School of Medicine. He completed a rotating general internship at Los Angeles County General Hospital and a residency at the Mallory Institute of Pathology, Boston City Hospital. He spent two years as associate pathologist at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, D.C., and then was a research fellow at Harvard Medical School. After his initial teaching experience at Tufts University School of Medicine, he joined the pathology faculty at the University of Washington School of Medicine, where he remained until 1983. During his time in Seattle, he was assistant chief, laboratory service, Veteran’s Administration Hospital, 1967-74, and director of hospital pathology, University Hospital, 1974-83.

As an inspector for the Pathology Laboratory Accreditation Program, 1989-96, he traveled to Saudi Arabia and Japan, among other countries. He and his wife, Pat (’56 Bact.), live in Greenville and Hayden Lake, Idaho.

Hans L. Habereder

Hans L. Habereder (’71 M.A. Math.), Orange, California, is a senior program manager for Raytheon in Fullerton, California. There he serves as a technical director and chief engineer for the satellite-enabled navigation system, known as the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS). Built for the Federal Aviation Administration, WAAS is available to aviation users for increasing situational awareness during flight under visual flight rules and on the airport runway. The signal also supports applications in boating, agriculture, and surveying.

The former technical director of the Japanese Satellite Navigation Program and professor of mathematics and astronomy in Germany has published more than 40 papers, and has lectured on satellite navigation for U.S. government teams worldwide. He has been called on to assess technology capabilities of foreign countries in the areas of radar and sonar. He holds six patents in the area of high-speed programmable digital signal processing and system architectures and data flow architecture systems.

From 1984 to 1996, he facilitated annual gifts totaling $65,000 to the Electrical Engineering Corp. Associates Fund in WSU’s School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.