View Photos of McKetta's 95th Birthday Bash

View more than 250 photos from John J. McKetta Jr.'s 95th birthday celebration on the Cockrell School's Flickr site.

John McKetta's 95th Birthday Bash!

If you have ever crossed paths with Dr. John J. McKetta Jr. or were fortunate enough to work, learn or befriend him, you know of his contagious smile and love for his University of Texas at Austin family. Most weekday mornings, Dr. McKetta can be found making Happy Birthday phone calls to "his boys and gals," so it was time we celebrated him!

The chemical engineering community at the Cockrell School of Engineering celebrated the 95th birthday of beloved professor, friend and mentor, John J. McKetta Jr. More than 450 alumni, friends and family members surrounded Dr. McKetta and his wife, Pinky, to help blow out the birthday candles and celebrate the couple's 67th wedding anniversary. Fifty five sponsors helped support the event, which took place Oct. 16 at the Four Seasons Hotel on Lake Austin.

During the celebration, the Cockrell School of Engineering premiered a tribute video to McKetta, chronicling his life and strong commitment to engineering. Watch the tribute on the Cockrell School's YouTube channel. The video also laid out the "Challenge for McKetta," a new $25 million fundraising opportunity that will formally name the Department of Chemical Engineering in his honor.

"I ask each of you in the months and years to come, to jump in on this campaign – we are going to have fun doing it and a very, very good result will occur because of it," said Peter Buenz, ChE 1960, who was a keynote speaker at the reception.

Three other alumni were keynote speakers, sharing special memories from their years on campus and highlighting their unique relationships with McKetta. The speakers included C.A. Rundell, B.S. ChE 1954; Diana Naylor Knox, B.S. ChE 1979; and David Stevens, B.S. ChE. Watch their remarks on the Cockrell School's YouTube channel.

For more information about the "Challenge for McKetta," call Kelsey Evans at 512-471-6151, or visit


A special thanks to our sponsors who made this celebration possible:


Gold Level Sponsors

Claire and Peter Buenz Aline and Ron Horne
Donna and Tom Edgar Barbara and Jim Miller
Reba and Ralph Ferrell Yvonne and Les Moor
Paul W. Fisher and Mary Linda Portner Edith and Peter O'Donnell
Jacque and Jay Forrest Dotti and Tom Timmins
Carol and Peter Gilmore Vinita and M. A. Vela
Carol and Henry Groppe Cindy and Mike Zeglin
Hal Hoffman

Silver Level Sponsors

Diana and Bob Ayers Katherine and Langley Hellwig
Cynthia and Louis A. Beecherl, III Dottie and Brock Hudson
Beverly and Ron Buls Cheryl and Keith Johnston
Mary and Harvey Campbell Diana Naylor Knox
Mary and Finis Carleton Ginger and Charles Loeffler
Elaine and Don Carlton Tomás Maldonado
Frances and Paul Chan Marion and Hans Mark
Sally and A. E. Chionsini Debbie and Jess McAngus
Janet and Ernie Cockrell Carmen and Don Mulraney
Everett Culver Joan and A. J. Phipps
Brian and Deborah Dinsmoor Shirley Rabke
Saza and Dudley Dobie Russell Smith
Maxine and Donald Dunlop Doris and David Stevens
Leonard Emge Carol and Curt Strong
Eileen and Doyle Fowler Diane and Glenn Taylor
Elaine and Hugh Gainey Lil and Jim Templeton
Gresham and Gusler Family Tom and Debbie Tulig
Brenda Lee Gabert and Rolando Guerrero Dan Weaver and Connie Dickens Weaver
Linda and Jim Harris Janelle and Eugene Werlein
Brigitte and Phillip Hawley