Dean Fauchet announces 2022 alumni honorees, distinguished friend of the engineering school

Philippe Fauchet, Bruce and Bridgitt Evans Dean of Engineering, has announced the 2022 members of the school’s Academy of Distinguished Alumni, and a new member of the school’s Circle of Distinguished Friends.

Morris Morgan III

An induction ceremony April 7, 2022, will honor alumni Jeffrey J. Rothschild, Corey E. Thomas, and Morris Morgan III. Morgan passed away unexpectedly Feb. 25 and his award will be accepted by his wife Carolyn Morgan, BA’69. Jonathan B. Perlin will be inducted into the Circle of Distinguished Friends.

The Distinguished Alumnus Award recognizes notable achievement, significant service and excellent character. The Distinguished Friends Award recognizes non-alumni whose professional, civic and philanthropic pursuits reflect the high standards and values associated with the school. Honorees are chosen by an awards committee that comprises the dean, faculty members and alumni representatives.

Jeffrey Rothschild

The newest members of the Academy and the Circle of Friends are “influencers” with tremendous impact, said Dean Fauchet. “They have broken barriers, built outstanding careers, and guided and shaped engineering education while enriching the lives of those in their communities and beyond.”

Morris H. Morgan III, BE’69
Dr. Morris H. Morgan, III graduated from Vanderbilt at 19. He was the second African American to receive his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1978. After a successful research stint at General Electric, he returned to RPI and became the engineering school’s first tenured African American professor. Read more >>

Corey Thomas

Jeffrey J. Rothschild, BA’77, MS’79
Jeff Rothschild has had a 40-year career as an entrepreneur, engineer, and technology investor. After studying psychology as an undergraduate in 1977, Jeff changed direction and got his master’s degree in computer science in 1979. Read more >>

Corey E. Thomas, BE’98
Corey Thomas is the CEO of Rapid7, as well as the chairman of its board of directors. Corey received a B.E. in electrical engineering and computer science from Vanderbilt University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Read more >>

Jonathan Perlin

Jonathan B. Perlin, M.D., Ph.D.
Jonathan Perlin became the seventh President and CEO of The Joint Commission on March 1, 2022. Previously, he served as President, Clinical Operations and Chief Medical Officer, HCA Healthcare. Read more >>

Morris H. Morgan III, BE’69
In 2003, Morgan delivered RPI’s “Garnet D. Baltimore Lecture” in recognition of his impact on engineering education. Morris began his tenure at Hampton University in 1996 as a professor and Massey Chair of Environmental Engineering. He served for six years as the second dean of the HU School of Engineering and Technology. He secured funding for a NASA-funded Aero-Propulsion Center and a Virtual Parts Manufacturing Center and initiated the Computer Engineering degree program.

Upon returning to the HU faculty in 2004, he continued his research in designing hypersonic vehicle body structures, modeling boron nitride nano-material reactors and designing industrial spouted bed systems, a field in which he and the late Howard Littman garnered world-class prominence. In 2008, he was a Virginia Outstanding Scientist Award Candidate for his research contributions to fluid-particle systems.

Morgan received Vanderbilt’s Legacy Award in 2015 as a pioneering African American degree recipient. He published 96 research articles, 6 book chapters, held 4 patents, and produced 12 STEM Masters and Ph.D. students.

In reverence to his parents, Morris always championed efforts at HU, RPI, Vanderbilt and beyond to encourage students to pursue advanced degrees. Two of his many success stories are his daughter Kristin, who earned a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering, and his son Eric, who earned his MBA.

Morris passed away unexpectedly on February 25, 2022. He is survived by his wife Carolyn Bradshaw Morgan, BA’69, daughter Kristin D. Morgan, son Eric A. Morgan and daughter-in-law Sarah Van Doren.

Jeffrey J. Rothschild, BA’77, MS’79
After leaving Vanderbilt, Rothschild worked briefly at Honeywell and Intel, before starting out as an entrepreneur. His first projects weren’t necessarily successful, but they were all invaluable learning experiences.

Rothschild has co-founded two public companies: the storage software company Veritas Software, which reached nearly $2B in yearly revenue in the 1990s, and the online gaming company Mpath Interactive. Jeff joined Facebook as VP Infrastructure Engineering in 2005 and spent 10 years focused on the scalability and performance of the site.

Since leaving Facebook in 2015, Rothschild has been working as an investor and mentor to entrepreneurs and is on the board of Pure Storage and Scuba Analytics. He also serves as Vice-Chair of the Vanderbilt Board of Trust and is a member of the board of Stanford Health Care.

Rothschild’s philanthropic and impact investment areas includes medical research, scholarships for disadvantaged students, open space preservation, a shoe company in Guatemala, and an ophthalmologic hospital and dairy cooperative in Kenya.

He and his wife Marieke reside with their three children in Palo Alto, CA.

Corey E. Thomas, BE’98
In 2021, Thomas became a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was appointed as a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. In 2020, Corey joined the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership as a director. In 2018, he was elected to the Cyber Threat Alliance (CTA) board of directors and the Massachusetts Cybersecurity Strategy Council.

Thomas also serves on the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts board of directors, LPL Financials’ board of directors, and Vanderbilt University’s Board of Trust. He previously served on the U.S. Commerce Department’s Digital Economy Board of Advisors.

Thomas has extensive experience leading technology companies to the next stage of growth and innovation. Prior to joining Rapid7, he was VP of marketing at Parallels, Inc., a virtualization technology company. He has served as group project manager of the Microsoft Server and Tools division, steering product planning for Microsoft’s data platform, and as a consultant at Deloitte Consulting.

He and his wife LaQuanya Thomas reside in Auburndale, Massachusetts. They are the parents of Laila Marie Polk, a Vanderbilt College of Arts and Science student in the Class of 2025.

Jonathan B. Perlin, M.D., Ph.D.
At HCA Healthcare, Dr. Perlin led clinicians, data scientists and researchers in developing a learning health system model for improving care at the system’s 185 hospitals and 2,200 other locations. His team’s work achieved national recognition for preventing elective pre-term deliveries, reducing maternal mortality, increasing sepsis survival, and developing public-private-academic partnerships for improving infection prevention and treating COVID.

Before joining HCA Healthcare, Perlin was Under Secretary for Health in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, where he led the Veterans Health Administration to national prominence for clinical performance. Signal accomplishments included implementation of the first national electronic health record.

He is a MedPAC Commissioner, a Congressional Budget Office Health Advisor, immediate past chair the National Quality Forum and the VA Special Medical Advisory Group. As an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, he has co-chaired action collaboratives on digital health, combatting opioids and climate change.

Perlin’s board service includes, Meharry Medical College, Columbia University’s Health Policy and Management program, and Vanderbilt University’s School of Engineering. He maintains faculty appointments at Vanderbilt University as Clinical Professor of Medicine and Health Policy and at Virginia Commonwealth University as Adjunct Professor of Health Administration.

Perlin and his wife Donna reside in Nashville, Tennessee. They are the parents of Benjamin Perlin, BE’19, who is completing his graduate degree in neuroscience at Vanderbilt.

Contact: Brenda Ellis, (615) 343-6314
Twitter @VUEngineering