LAFAYETTE, IN (January 23, 2014) — Purdue University recently honored Covenanter Paul Ziemer, who has served the administrations of three United States presidents, as an Old Master.
Old Masters are considered “exceptional individuals who have made significant contributions in their professional fields,” according to the school’s website. “Old Masters possess a desire to share leadership philosophies and life experiences with Purdue students.”
Those receiving the honor, which was created in 1950, spend a week on campus interacting with students socially and in the classroom.
Ziemer is professor emeritus and the former head of the School of Health Sciences at Purdue from 1993 to 2000. He earned his doctorate in bionucleonics at the school in 1967.
Ziemer, who is a member of the Evangelical Covenant Church in Lafayette and of the denomination’s Executive Board, was appointed by President George H.W. Bush to be the assistant secretary of energy for environment, safety, and health. In that position he was responsible for overseeing all radiological, safety, and health activities for the Energy Department.
President George W. Bush appointed him to serve as chair of the U.S. Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health, a position he held through 2009. He has continued as a member of that board under the Obama Administration.
Ziemer also has served as the president of the Health Physics Society, the American Academy of Health Physics, National Academy of Sciences Committee, Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board for the National Academy of Sciences, and chair of the Scientific Advisory Council for the International Radioecology Laboratory in Ukraine. He also served on the board of directors for the Radiation Effects Research Foundation in Japan.
Ziemer graduated from Wheaton College with a bachelor’s degree in physics. He was introduced to the Covenant when he started attending the Lafayette church because fellow former graduate Norbert Johnson was the congregation’s pastor.