Brooks M. Whitehurst (’51 B.S. in chemical engineering) was honored as the 2011-12 Friend of the College. He has been generous in his financial and personal support of the Wood Enterprise Institute (WEI), a concept-to-market business venture in which students design, manufacture, sell, and distribute a product. Whitehurst has taken a particular interest in interfacing with the WEI students, exploring innovative solutions to design and manufacturing challenges, and even inviting students to visit at his home and business in New Bern, N.C.

A professional engineer, Whitehurst’s experience ranges from chemical process design to venture analysis to environmental control. Among his many distinctions, he holds 25 process and product patents, is credited in four different Who’s Who publications, and in 2001 was named one of the top 2,000 scientists and engineers of the 20th century. Most recently he has been instrumental in creating a new forest fertilization technology licensed to the Weyerhaeuser Company. First applied on the North Carolina pines and now used throughout the United States, this technology is being evaluated for international distribution.