DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI 2015

    Businessman and Attorney


    Alden A. Abraham, Class of 1959, is a 1963 graduate of the University of
    Nebraska. He began his education in a one-room Colfax County school where he
    was the only student in his grade. After serving as a commissioned officer in the
    United States Navy serving from 1964 to 1967, he attended the University of
    Nebraska law college and later became a partner in Arthur Andersen & Co, an
    international accounting firm. In 1987 he acquired the Minneapolis company, Top
    Tool Co. a leading supplier of micro miniature components for medical, electronic,
    nuclear and defense industries. His innovative company created digital medicine
    including a pill sensor that allows medical professionals to monitor the time,
    dosage, frequency and interaction of the pill. Top Tool has collaborated with the
    United States defense industry designing “smart munitions” and with the nuclear
    energy industry providing a precision temperature safety monitoring device. Top
    Tool was the 2013 recipient of Quality Magazine's Leadership 100 Award and
    Quality Plant of the Year. Minnesota Business Magazine rated Top Tool in the Top
    100 places to work in Minnesota in 2014. He is the son of the late John and Ida


               DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI 2015


    -Electrical Engineer-


    Robert J. Brichacek, Class of 1961, earned a BSEE degree from the
    University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1966. During his early education Brichacek
    attended a rural Colfax County school where he was the only student in his grade .
    In 1966 Brichacek started his career as an electrical engineer with Becton Dickinson
    Co., a medical technology company. Brichacek was innovative, making printed
    circuit boards, a technology in its infant stages at the time. Of note was his
    development of a novel automation concept for inspecting hypodermic needle
    points. Later he developed a sensitive camera system to inspect needles which
    reduced manufacturing costs and improved product quality and consistency. In
    addition to his employment with Becton Dickinson, Brichacek founded and directed
    several business ventures. His business Technik Mfg., Inc was named Columbus
    (NE) Small Business of the Year. Throughout his life he nurtured interests in
    hunting, fishing, photography, wine making, writing, philately and world travel. He
    is the son of the late Joseph and Lillian Brichacek.




    United States District Judge

    John M. Gerrard, Class of 1972, was nominated by President Barack
    Obama to become a U.S. District Court judge. The U.S. Senate confirmed his
    nomination in 2012. Gerrard graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University in
    1975, earned a master's degree from the University of Arizona and a law degree
    from McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific. He was a private
    practice lawyer in Norfolk, NE and later city attorney for Battle Creek, NE. In 1995
    Gerrard was appointed to the Nebraska Supreme Court. At age 41, he was the
    youngest justice ever appointed to this court. His recent professional recognitions
    include the National Consortium on Racial and Ethic Fairness in the Courts National
    Award, the Legal Pioneer Award from the Nebraska State Bar Foundation and the
    Distinguished Judge for Improvement of the Judicial System Award from the
    Nebraska Judicial System. He is a Nebraska Wesleyan University 2014 Medal of
    Honor recipient and has been inducted into the Phi Kappa Tau Hall of Fame.
    He is the son of the late Melvin and Eileen Gerrard.