James (Jim) R. Whiteley of Lake Forest, Illinois was born and raised in Corydon, Iowa. He graduated from the University of Iowa in 1961 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and earned a Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering in 1963. Working with mentors like Professor John Liittschwager and Professor Gerald Weeg at the dawn of the digital age set the direction for Jim’s entire professional life. When he asked Professor Weeg for a future career direction, the Professor quickly replied, “Computing: it is the only invention that extends the human mind.” Following that advice, Jim accepted a position at The University of Iowa in the University Computing Center in 1961. He managed the programming staff of graduate assistants on projects for various University departments. Jim also created a consulting business for the university by taking on outside projects for many organizations, including the Department of Defense, Time Inc. and AG Becker & Co. After over a decade in Iowa City, Jim moved to Chicago, engaging in the burgeoning entrepreneurial computer culture there. In the 70s and 80s, Jim constructed large computer systems for an investment banking firm, ran a computer services bureau company, and was a principal in SEI, a large computer-consulting firm. Jim also started his own consulting company and was involved in founding ten other companies during this period. Today Jim is the President of Vail Systems of Deerfield, IL, an internet telecommunications company which he founded in 1991. Vail has successfully incubated several other start-up businesses, spinning off multiple companies since its founding. Vail’s customers include Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and telecom service providers. Vail still uses the first principals Jim learned at Iowa: work to make people around you better; revision is about making things better; and most importantly, the proper use of technology can change the world. Jim has been lucky enough to have his living converge with his passion. He is also an extensive traveler and reader in US and world history, two other activities that serve to extend the human mind. Jim and his wife Adrienne Johns are active in the National Parks Conservation Association, a non-profit organization that helps protect the National Parks. They also are involved in the Beyond Sports Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps disadvantaged high school athletes prepare for success as both students and athletes in college. Jim has two children and three grandsons. The James R Whiteley Challenge Scholarship was established to direct engineering students toward facing the difficult problems that face us at the start of the 21st Century. It is technology and responsible citizenship that will address these concerns. This scholarship is given with the belief that fostering the imaginations of young people and enabling them to do the hard work to meet these challenges is the future of our society and planet.