Reese S. Terry Jr. (BSEE 1964; MSEE 1966) received an honorary doctor of engineering degree at the May 2019 Commencement ceremony.
Terry, from Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering from UK. He began his professional career at Cordis Corporation, a heart pacemaker manufacturing company and later joined Intermedics Inc., a medical device and electronics company, where he continued his interest in pacemakers and co-developed the first programmable dual chamber pacer in 1980. Eventually, Terry moved into the neurological medical technology area and co-founded Cyberonics Inc. to develop, manufacture and market neuromodulation therapies for patients with epilepsy and other neurological disorders. He helped develop Vagus Nerve Stimulation Therapy, a breakthrough seizure reduction treatment for epilepsy, which was later approved to treat depression and migraine headaches.
Terry is recognized internationally for his work. He holds numerous patents and was recognized twice for making one of the top 100 inventions in a year by Industrial Research Inc. and received both the Professional Career Achievement Award by the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society and the World Changer Award by the Epilepsy Foundation of America in 2012.
Through all of his success, Terry has made it a priority to give back. Among his philanthropy efforts, his company helped establish a fund to pay for travel expenses for needy epilepsy patients and their families to reach appropriate treatment centers, and he endowed a professorship in UK’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Terry has worked tirelessly on behalf of the UK Alumni Association and was honored with its Distinguished Service Award in 2018. He is a member of the College of Engineering’s Hall of Distinction and the UK Hall of Distinguished Alumni.