Distinguished Alumni Citation

Gary L. Beck ’64
Area: Science

Gary Beck graduated from Willamette with a degree in chemistry. He met his wife, Sally Jo Plessinger ’65, at while attending the university and joins both his father and one daughter as alumni.

After leaving Willamette, Beck took a job in metals with ATI Wah Chang, where he remained for the duration of his career and would hold the position of chief spectrographer and analytical laboratory manager. Following his retirement from the position in 2004, he continues to work with Wah Chang part-time as a principal analytical chemist.

Beck is a member of the American Chemical Society, the Society for Applied Spectroscopy and ASTM International. ASTM International, established in 1898, is one of the largest international standards development and delivery systems in the world. ASTM standards are accepted and used in research and development, product testing, quality systems and commercial transactions around the globe.

In 2003, ASTM International recognized Beck’s work with an award of appreciation. This was followed by the H.V. Churchill Award in 2007 for meritorious service. Most recently, Beck was awarded in March the ASTM International Award of Merit and the accompanying title of fellow from the Committee E01 on Analytical Chemistry for Metals, Ores and Related Materials. The Award of Merit is the highest organizational recognition for individual contributions to ASTM standards activities.

In addition to his work in the field of scientific standards, Beck has been an avid mountain climber since the 1960’s. His climbing resume includes a visit to Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa.