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R. William Van Sant
BS 1966, MS 1967 in Mechanical Engineering
Born and raised in Iowa, Bill Van Sant has earned acclaim for helping lead the turn-around of major, nationally known companies, making them productive, prosperous, and internationally competitive. Mr. Van Sant worked at Deere & Company in Waterloo, IA, before coming to The University of Iowa where he earned a Bachelor of Science in 1966 and a Master's degree in 1967, both in mechanical engineering. He returned to Deere & Company where he quickly worked his way into management, becoming Corporate Vice President of Manufacturing and Engineering in 1981. Mr. Van Sant has made subsequent major senior management contributions as President and Chief Operating Officer of Cessna Aircraft, Wichita, Kansas; as well as President, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and a Director of Blount Inc., Montgomery, Alabama.
Mr. Van Sant retired in 1998 as Chairman, President, and Chief Executive officer of Lukens, Inc.-the nation's third largest producer of plate steel.
In 1999, Mr. Van Sant was appointed Director and President of The National Association of Manufacturers, and also Trustee and President of The Manufacturers' Alliance for Productivity and Innovation. Mr.Van Sant became the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Nortrax Equipment Company, Eden Prairie, MN, specializing in sales, parts, and service of construction equipment. He also served as CEO of Paladin, A Dover Company, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Today, he is operating partner of Stone Arch Capital, a Minneapolis, MN, based private equity fund.
Mr. Van Sant received the Hancher Finkbine Medallion in 1965, The University of Iowa's highest undergraduate honor. He also served two terms on The University of Iowa College of Engineering Advisory Board, as well as serving on its Development Council and Engineering Building Steering Committee. He is a member of the University's Alumni Association Old Capitol Club. Mr. Van Sant serves on the Board of Directors for Graco Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota and H.B. Fuller Company in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is also a member of Pi Tau Sigma and Tau Beta Pi.
Inducted February 15, 1997