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Published: 10/23/2008

Toledo officer, Va. Tech prof to receive posthumous honors in St. Francis hall of fame

BY MARK REITER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Slain Toledo police Officer Keith Dressel and Kevin Granata, a teacher who was among 32 people killed in the massacre at Virginia Tech, are among inductees into the St. Francis de Sales High School Hall of Fame in Toledo.

Mr. Dressel, Mr. Granata, and Thomas Gouttierre, a 1958 graduate of St. Francis who is an expert on Afghan affairs, have been singled out for the hall of fame's Golden Knight Award.

The award is given biennially to graduates who have been successful in their careers or made significant impact on the community at large.

Sue Kenney, a high school spokesman, said Mr. Dressel, a 1989 graduate, and Mr. Granata, of the 1980 class, are the first graduates to receive the Golden Knight posthumously.

Larry Moreland (1961), Brian Burns (1985), and Tom Takats (1992), who were athletes, and the 1989 state championship swim team also will be inducted into the hall of fame.

Richard Eastop, senior associate consultant with Noel-Levitz and recently retired vice president for enrollment services at the University of Toledo, will receive the Service Award, which is given to a nongraduate who through generosity, involvement, and service, has made a significant impact on the school.

Detective Dressel, who grew up in Ottawa Lake, was shot and killed Feb. 21, 2007, while working undercover in the vice/narcotics unit in North Toledo.

A member of the police department since 1993, he was 35 years old.

At St. Francis, he was an honor student, participated in intramural sports, and played saxophone in the marching band.

When Mr. Granata was in high school, he participated in athletics, drama, and chess, and was on the debate team.

He received degrees from Ohio State University and Purdue University.

In 2003, he joined Virginia Tech, where he was director of the musculoskeletal Biomechanics Lab and was a full professor at the college at the time of his death.

Mr. Granata, 45, was shot in the hallway of Norris Hall during the shooting rampage on April

16, 2007.

It's believed he was one of the last victims before the gunman committed suicide.

Mr. Gouttierre spent 10 years in Afghanistan as a Peace Corps volunteer and Fulbright Fellow, and served as the senior political affairs officer on the U.N. peacekeeping mission to Afghanistan in 1996-1997.

Mr. Gouttierre is dean of international studies and programs at the University of Nebraska, Omaha, where he directs the Center for Afghanistan Studies.

Considered one of the United States' leading experts on Afghanistan, Mr.Gouttierre has given briefings on that part of the world to committees of the U.S. Congress, the British Parliament, the French National Assembly, and the United Nations.



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