Distinguished Austin alumni to be honored

Go & Do

What: Distinguished alumni assembly

When: 10 a.m. Sept. 20

Where: Knowlton Auditorium at Austin High School, 301 Third St. N.W.

By Karen Colbenson


Jamey Weichert and Thomas Nelson were recently chosen as recipients of the 2007 Distinguished Alumni award from the Austin High School Alumni Association and Friends.

The award recognizes graduates of Austin High School for outstanding achievements and contributions to society after graduation, and promotes positive role models for students.

• Weichert graduated from Austin High School in 1975, then earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry at the University of Minnesota and a Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry at the University of Michigan.

Weichert worked for 13 years as a research scientist in the radiology department at the University of Michigan, and now works as an associate professor of radiology, medical physics and pharmaceutics at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Weichert is also founder, president, CEO and chief scientific officer of Cellectar LLC, a biotech company that has developed a testing method of cancer diagnosis and treatment.

• Nelson graduated from Austin High School in 1963, then became a teacher in Austin Public Schools. He later became the district’s business manager.

He served as an Austin City Council member and was a Minnesota state senator from 1977 to 1986, representing the Austin-Albert Lea district. He then became the Minnesota Commissioner of Education and has received several awards including the University of Minnesota’s Excellence in Educational Leadership, and two awards for Minnesota Association of School Administrators Distinguished Service.


He was superintendent of the Buffalo, Minn., school district until retiring in 2004. In 2005, he came out of retirement to become superintendent of South Washington County schools.

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