William Porter who received an MS from our Department in the 1950s was the Arts & Sciences commencement speaker in May. Bill talked to the Spring College graduates about changes that he has seen during his career much of which has focused on the application of technology and changes that they might expect in the coming years. He and his wife, Joan, also met with our graduating seniors, some of our undergraduates and faculty during their visit to the campus.
Bill graduated from Adams State College in Colorado. He then came to K-State where he earned a master’s in physics. He has been the creative genius behind more than 20 products and services, which include many electronic devices and products, and he holds 14 patents. One of his patents is for the first shoulder-mounted backpack broadcast color TV camera; others include the first electronic diesel-electric locomotive checkout system; the first infrared horizon sensor for satellite stabilization and several other breakthroughs that are still used today.
In 1982, he founded an electronic brokerage service for stockbrokers where the world’s first online trading took place. Ten years later he realized he could compete with major brokerage houses and launched a subsidiary of Trade Plus now known as E*Trade – the leader in online investing. He most recently launched the International Securities Exchange (ISE) — the United States’ first entirely electronic options market.