Roger R. Borden, Professor Emeritus, Mechanical Engineering

Roger R. Borden, professor emeritus of mechanical engineering at WPI, died Monday, Oct. 29, 2007, at his home in Worcester, Mass.
Borden had earned a BS in mechanical engineering and a BS in general engineering from MIT, and an MS in mechanical engineering from WPI. Before joining the WPI faculty in 1959, he had been an instructor in mechanical and machine design and head of the mechanical and machine design department at Franklin Technical Institute; head of the departments of mechanical engineering, technology and mechanical technology, and design options at Wentworth Institute of Technology; and an engineering consultant at Children’s Medical Center.

His areas of professional expertise included internal combustion engines, exhaust emissions, and electric vehicles. In 1971, he was a faculty advisor to WPI students who built cars powered by various alternative energy sources for a national Clean Air Car Race across the country. In 1980-81, he participated in a yearlong Department of Transportation program on automotive emissions and economy in Cambridge, Mass.

An ordained minister who studied at Assumption College and Andover-Newton Theological School, he was a retired pastor of the United Methodist Church, serving parishes in Charlton, West Fitchburg, and East Templeton, Mass., and had previously been pastor of the United Church of Christ, serving at the Orthodox Congregational Church in Petersham, Mass.

In retirement, he held posts as a professor and department head at Franklin Institute in Boston and developed CAD courses at Mount Wachusett Community College. He also served as a docent at the Worcester Art Museum, a guide at the Boston Museum of Science, and a volunteer in the visitor center at Old Sturbridge Village. A longtime railway buff, he belonged to the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine, the Connecticut Electric Railway Society, and the Railway Museum of New England. He was also a serious amateur photographer.

Borden’s wife of nearly 50 years, Constance Elin (Linberg) Borden, died in April 2007. He is survived by his son, the Rev. Andrew H. Borden, daughter Meredith Ann Borden, and three granddaughters.

Memorial donations be made to the Youth Group Fund of Zion Lutheran Church, 41 Whitmarsh Avenue, Worcester, MA  01606.

Ryan Patrick Jones '05

Ryan Patrick Jones, 23, died on Tuesday, May 2, 2007, in Baghdad of wounds he suffered when his vehicle struck a roadside bomb. First Lt. Jones was assigned to the 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, from Fort Riley, Kansas.

Born on Sept. 13, 1983, Jones was the only child of Kevin and Elaine Jones. He grew up in Westminster and graduated in 2001 from Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School. At Monty Tech, he was co-captain of the football team, a member of the school's National Honor Society chapter, and a Fitchburg Rotary Club student of the month. In his senior year, Jones received the Monty Tech Purple and Gold Award for being the school's most positive role model.

In 2005, Jones received a bachelor of science degree in civil and environmental engineering from WPI, where he distinguished himself as a student and community member. A member of Phi Kappa Theta fraternity, he received the Class of 1879 Prize for excellence in his Humanities and Arts project, "Ministry: A Screenplay." For his Major Qualifying Project (MQP), "Use of Non-Destructive Testing and Evaluation for Structural Design of Pavements," Jones and his classmates evaluated the pavement at Moore Army Airfield and designed new pavement suitable for aircraft use.

"It is a terrible loss of human life, youth, energy and education," said Rajib Mallick, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and advisor of Jones's MQP. "Ryan was always willing to help others, and he would help you in such a way that you didn't know you were being helped."

As a freshman at WPI, Jones joined the Army ROTC program on an Army Scholarship. He played a leadership role in many ROTC activities and events, including the Color Guard, Ranger Challenge, and Pershing Rifles. Following graduation, he continued to serve ROTC as a Gold Bar recruiter before reporting in August 2005 to his Engineer Officer Basic Course in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

Brandon M. Kilgore '06

Brandon M. Kilgore, 23, died unexpectedly on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2007, in Sacramento, Calif., where he had been living with his wife, Kimberly M. (Ware) Kilgore ‘06, following their graduation from WPI last May. Brandon had been employed by 3Com Corp. in Marlboro, Mass., where he did test engineering.

Born in Fitchburg, Mass., on Oct. 10, 1983, Kilgore grew up in Townsend, Mass., where in 2002 he graduated valedictorian from North Middlesex Regional High School; he was a National Merit Scholar recipient. A self-described "computer geek,” he had a lifelong passion for mathematics and also loved cooking, movies, photography and adventures to new places.

He attended WPI as a computer science major, minoring in mathematics and computer engineering. He traveled to Hong Kong with Daniel K. Gilbreath '06, Rebecca A. O'Neil '06, and Matthew P. Simone 06 to complete an Interactive Qualifying Project titled “Educating Hong Kong's Youth.” The project included recommendations to improve the educational experience at the Caritas Charles Vath College. With Tyler Benoit '06 and Sean Donovan '06, he completed a Major Qualifying Project titled “Generating Header files,” which was sponsored by EMC Corp. He received his BS in computer science with High Distinction.

After graduation, he married Kim Ware of Sacramento, who also graduated High Distinction in May with a BS in mathematical sciences and a minor in computer science. In addition to his wife of five months, Brandon leaves his parents, William and Donna (Matthews) Kilgore of Townsend; a brother, Ryan Kilgore ‘01, and his wife, Lauren Kennedy, of Arlington; a nephew; two soon-to be-adopted sisters; his paternal grandmother, his father-in-law and mother-in-law; and several aunts, uncles and cousins.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Brandon M. Kilgore Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o NMRHS Scholarship Foundation, P.O. Box 715, Townsend, MA  01496.

John C. Metzger Jr., 82, Trustee Emeritus, Generous Benefactor, Loyal Friend

John C. Metzger Jr. ’46, a distinguished WPI alumnus and emeritus trustee, died December 29, 2006, in Vero Beach, Fla. He was 82. A member of the WPI Board of Trustees since 1981, Metzger was elected to emeritus status in 1989. He served on the board’s committees for development, budget and finance, and finance and investment. In 1981, the WPI Alumni Association honored him with the Robert H. Goddard Alumni Award for Distinguished Professional Achievement.

Metzger and his wife, Jean, recently established the John C. Metzger Jr. Professorship in Chemistry in WPI’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. As a candidate for the WPI Board of Trustees, Metzger once said of his alma mater, “I will always believe that I received more from WPI than I can ever repay.”

“John Metzger did so much to help this university grow and prosper,” said WPI President Dennis D. Berkey. “We are deeply grateful for his service and his friendship. While the WPI community will miss him profoundly, the legacy he built, through his professorship and countless other contributions, will endure for generations to come.”

Metzger entered WPI in the fall of 1942 from Norristown, New Jersey, with a scholarship that helped pay his first-year expenses. In his sophomore year, he was accepted in the Navy’s wartime V-12 program and continued his WPI studies in chemistry in uniform. He was commissioned after graduation and served in the Navy during World War II.

As an undergraduate, he played soccer and was a member of the swimming team. He earned membership in the Tau Beta Pi and Sigma Xi honorary societies and was selected as a member of the Skull, the senior honorary society. He was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity.

Upon graduation from WPI, he joined the DuPont Co., where he served his entire professional career. He began as a chemical engineer and later became a corporate group vice president, retiring in December 1986 as group vice president for Photosystems and Electronic Products, one of the company’s major divisions.

As an alumnus, Metzger served WPI in several volunteer capacities: as chair of his 40th Reunion and chair of the Corporate Contacts Program with Dupont, and as a member of the Firesafety Advisory Board and the Alumni Admissions Program. He was also a member of the Presidential Founders, the university’s most generous giving society.

In Delaware, Metzger was a member of the National Board of Junior Achievement; in Vero Beach, he belonged to the First Presbyterian Church, the Moorings Club, the Vero Beach Country Club, and the Oak Harbor Club.

He is survived by his wife; daughters, Susan Ferrell of Hendersonville, N.C., Donna Machlan of Bonita Springs, Fla., and Sally Baker of Little River, S.C.; and two grandsons. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Jane Metzger.

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