George Burnet (’48, MS ’49, Ph.D. ’51 chem engr) and Martha Anderson (’48 home mang), Ames, Iowa, have received the Iowa State University Alumni Association Alumni Medal.

The ISUAA established this award in 1948 to recognize ISU alumni for long, loyal service to the university through alumni-related activities. It is the premier award given to alumni by the ISU Alumni Association.

Burnet and Anderson are two individuals who have always been devoted to Iowa State University, and just recently found their devotion to each other. Burnet and Anderson met each other while living at Green Hills Retirement Community in Ames. After discovering their shared enthusiasm for Iowa State women’s basketball games, their friendship blossomed into marriage.

After graduating and working in industry for several years, Burnet returned to Iowa State as a faculty member, subsequently becoming head of the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department in 1961 and associate dean of the College of Engineering in 1986. He retired in 1995.

Anderson inherited her passion for Iowa State from her father, Mervin Coover, the namesake for Coover Hall. Following her graduation, she lived in Pennsylvania for 40 years, culminating with her serving as director of a pre-school and head start program. In 1989, she retired and returned to Ames.

Prior to the pandemic, Burnet and Anderson made a point to attend events held by the College of Human Sciences and College of Engineering, the Iowa State University Alumni Association, and the Iowa State University Foundation. They found time to gather with other alumni and globetrotted with the Iowa State University Alumni Association Traveling Cyclones program and are consistent participants in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

Throughout their lives, Burnet and Anderson have enjoyed philanthropy and have supported many Iowa State initiatives. Some of their favorite causes include scholarships, ISU Athletics, the Iowa State University Varsity Marching Band, and the Greek community.

Today, Burnet and Anderson live together at Green Hills Retirement Community in Ames, Iowa. They are both life members of the Iowa State University Alumni Association, belong to the Order of the Knoll W.M. Beardshear Society and Campanile Society, and are Cyclone Club members.


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