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´╗┐Ren Harman: Good evening. This is Ren Harman, the VT Stories project manager. Today is April 28th?

Kim Muller: 9th.

Ren: 29th, 2017, and we are in Houston, Texas. A very special guest with us today. So if I can just ask you, in a complete sentence, just to state, for the record, your full name, when you were born, and where you were born.

Kim: Yeah, thank you, Ren. My name's [Kimbley] Laird Muller, and I was born June 16, 1946 in Chicago, Illinois.

Ren: What yeas did you attend Virginia Tech?

Kim: I started in 1964 and I graduated actually in '69 because I had...I was two classes short in June of '68.

Ren: Okay.

Kim: So I had to go back for the winter semester--or...yeah. We had fall and 1:00winter semesters then--quarters.

Ren: Quarters.

Kim: Yeah, so I went back for the winter quarter. We didn't have semesters then.[1]

Ren: What was your major?

Kim: General sciences is what I graduated in, but I started out in chemistry.[2] And I switched in my junior year. I just felt like I wasn't going to be a really great chemist ever, so I wanted to get better knowledge of the sciences. And at that time I was thinking about being a patent lawyer, so I thought that would be a better way to approach that. And by the time I was at the end of my junior year it was way too late to change to engineering because I hadn't taken any of the pre-engineering courses, only had chemistry and physics. But I would have 2:00been there another two years if I had gone back and tried to be an engineer.

Ren: So you were born in Chicago.[3] So can you tell me a little bit about your early life, and growing up, and what it was like?

Kim: Well, I won the parent lottery, I think. I had the greatest parents anybody could ask for. We lived in a semi affluent area. My father was a chemical engineer, and he had a master's degree in chemical engineering. At one time he was with what is now Amoco, but then it was Standard Oil of Indiana. And then he went on to have his own company for about 20 years, and they were in potash mining in New Mexico. Had a great mother. She, you know, dedicated to me, and she would do anything that she thought was the right thing to do that I asked her to do.

So had great parents, and it was a great community to grow up in. Went to 3:00grammar school there and junior high school there, and then when I got out of junior high school, I went away to school to a place called Elgin Academy, which is about 30 miles away. And I wanted to go there, and I went there for four years. And it was a school where you stayed on campus full-time, so it was a very close-knit community. It was maybe 150 students, so everybody knew everybody.

And one of the reasons I wanted to go there is I wanted to play football and I knew I was never good enough to play for the local school, 'cause they were really good. And I wanted to play basketball, and I knew I couldn't play basketball 'cause I was way too short. But I got to play basketball and football there. We weren't very good at what we did, but at least I got to participate.

4:00

Ren: Did you have any brothers or sisters?

Kim: I had a stepsister.

Ren: A stepsister?

Kim: Yeah.

Ren: Oh, okay. So when you started thinking about college and where you were going to go to college, how did Virginia Tech come into the picture?

Kim: Well, it's a good question. I was looking for a football scholarship, but I wasn't...I was All Conference for three years, but I wasn't really very good when it came to big schools like Ohio State and Illinois. I mean, I never could have even walked on at those schools. So I was looking at little colleges, like I think there's one in Iowa named Grinnell, something like that. And they really weren't offering scholarships. The school was just too small. And so I started looking around. And my father knew a professor of physics at Virginia Tech, 5:00Professor Hsu.

And he knew some other people, and he asked me if I would be interested, and I said I would. I didn't know anything about Virginia. But I went down there for a summer and really liked it.[4] I loved the campus. Even back then it was a beautiful campus. So that's really how I got there. I never really applied to any of the other schools that were what I considered to be big schools, you know, Georgia Tech, or Virginia Tech, or North Carolina, or Illinois. I just wanted to get out of that kind of Illinois spirit. Everybody that I graduated with went to either Illinois, Southern Illinois, Bradley, places like that.

Ren: That first memory of the Virginia Tech campus, do you remember what it looked like, smelled like?

Kim: Oh, yeah. Oh, absolutely. Now I went there in the summer, so I lived in the 6:00Corps of Cadets barracks, even though I wasn't in the Corps. And that was the first year that I didn't have to be in the Corps.[5] And we were in the upper quad, and Williams Hall, and we had our meals in Shanks. And I just loved being there in the summer. It was really nice. You know, when you're in Illinois, you don't really know what a mountain is, so when I got there I thought these mountains are just fantastic. I really, I liked the beauty of the campus, and the drill field was really pretty. I liked that setting.

Ren: What was your freshman year like?

Kim: Well, I wasn't...I was totally inactive socially, 'cause I was really worried about getting my academics together.

So I wouldn't go out on Saturday night or Friday nights, and I would stay in and 7:00study. You know, all my life I've had this fear of failure, and I'll do anything to keep from failing. That's how I got through law school and the teaching at Virginia Tech. I just want to be a success at anything I do. And so I spent my first year pretty much in the academic environment at Virginia Tech.

And at that time we only had maybe 40 to 100 girls there, and so there wasn't really a social atmosphere. You could go to Radford if you wanted to. But that just seemed like an awful long way to go to, you know, for a, you know, a three hour date. So I just stayed on campus and essentially studied my first year.

8:00

Ren: Thinking about the time period that you were there in the mid '60s, we were kind of on the evolution of a lot of change in our society. Did you see any of that kind of translated into the campus and Blacksburg writ large?

Kim: You mean currently?

Ren: No, when you were there in the '60s.

Kim: I don't understand the question.

Ren: As a student.

Kim: Yeah?

Ren: Thinking about what was going on at that time period in our society.

Kim: Oh. No. No. That was beyond what I would have thought about. And, you know, the '60s were a time of rebellion, but not at Virginia Tech. It was a very calm campus. I guess if you wanted to you could find your sources of rebellion, but no, it was a place to get an education for me. And that's what I was thankful for, and that's what I was there for, and therefore I just couldn't filter anything other than what my current situation was.[6]

Ren: Just kind of keeping your head down, studying.

Kim: Well, that's what I was there for. I wasn't there to be a rabble-rouser. 9:00And Vietnam, at the time, was something that I was really ambivalent about because I just didn't know what was going on. In retrospect it was a terrible decision for us to do that as a country. But at the time you heard pros and you heard cons, and I just wasn't gonna try to figure that out when I was trying to get an education.

And I had no control over it anyway, so, you know, I just kept my head down and tried to get the best education I could get for the four years I was there. And I did realize, when I was there, that that four years was probably gonna be one of the best times of my life, and I just decided to enjoy it more than worry about the world at large.[7]

Ren: In your major, who were some influential professors or advisors?

10:00

Kim: Well, my favorite teacher was Dr. Mason, who has since passed away. He was my analytical chemistry teacher. And I thought he was really wonderful. He really cared about the students. There was a math teacher. I believe his name was [Lechy]. And he was also someone that I really related to.

But every one of the teachers--I call them teachers--the professors really had my interest at heart. And when I would go in and talk to counselors--I don't remember their names now--but they would spend as much time as I wanted talking to them. And I think that's probably true today of the people in the College of Science. I don't know how it is in engineering. [8]

But my take on the College of Science is that they really do care about the students, and I felt that way when I was there.

Ren: When you were there in 1965, Lane Stadium opened. Do you remember that time?

11:00

Kim: Oh, absolutely. Actually, my first year War Memorial was the place they played football. The stadium didn't open until the spring, I believe, but I saw it under construction. And we would go out in the field, you know, when it was being constructed, and I certainly do remember it. It was really a step change for the school because no one that I really remember knows or remembers about War Memorial Stadium, but it was really bad. You know, they had hard bleachers and it was small. It was like a high school. And so this was really a step change.

Ren: What are some of your favorite memories or experiences from your time, would you say?

Kim: Well, most of them are educational. And I was thankful for that. But I can 12:00remember going to the football games there. Even when I was there in the '60s football was a big thing. Jerry Claiborne was the coach. And I actually went to talk to him about being a walk on, and it just wasn't gonna work out with my size and speed, so I didn't do it.

Ren: What was your position?

Kim: Guard. Guard and tackle. I was just too small. And I went out and I looked at the players that were playing and I thought, man, these guys could hurt me, so I'm not doing this.

Ren: [Laughs.]

Kim: So, you know, the sports, the basketball, I love basketball, and going to the Coliseum, which is the same place today. It was really great. We didn't have 13:00the...when I was there we didn't have the visitors, the alumni that would come in for week day games, so it was almost all students. And it was fun to go to.

Ren: Looking through some of the Bugle archives, I find there was an interesting...it seems like the years that you were there there was always a section in the Bugle about registration and what a headache it may have been to register for classes. Do you remember having some problems?

Kim: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. Actually, if you want to hear kind of a funny story, I got so frustrated at the registration system that I just got in line with al the football players and I registered two semesters for whatever they were registering for, and I ended up with a minor in field crops.[9]

Ren: [Laughs.]

Kim: I don't know how I did that, but for a guy from Chicago, that was really, that was an accomplishment. But it was very frustrating, and they probably did the best they could with the technology at that time. But it just seems so archaic now.

And it was...and the fact is that even back then when you registered you never 14:00could register for a class with a particular professor. You just registered for English 503 or whatever it is and they would assign you a professor. And it just would have been much easier if you could have chosen your professor if you registered early, and when the class fills up, it fills up. But it was pretty archaic, and it wasn't something that's a fond memory.

Ren: I just find it really interesting, looking through those, that that was something that was so important to the students that they had a section devoted to it in the Bugle for two or three years. I also learned there was a blizzard. Do you remember a blizzard in 1966?

Kim: Yep, yep. I remember it. And it was pretty severe. It was like 20 or 25 inches of snow. And they closed the university, which is really unusual back then.

Now they close it every time it rains, it seems. But yeah, they closed the 15:00university for two or three days.

Ren: Was that a lot of snow from someone coming from Chicago?

Kim: No, not really, but it's a lot of snow in the mountains when you can't get around and it's dangerous to have people out on the roads. So that was a smart thing to do.

Ren: Did you have any difficult experiences or times that were hard for you during your undergrad education?

Kim: I can't say that I did. I lived off campus for the last two years in a little place called Draper's Meadows, and I had three roommates, and we got along well. And I was getting an education. I liked where I was. I liked all my 16:00professors. So I was pretty content. And I really didn't have any major upsets.

You know, I was healthy, my parents were healthy. I was getting a good education and I appreciated that. So no, I don't really think I did. I never got into any fights or arguments with people or, you know, disputes with anybody about anything. You know, this was at a time before student loans, and I was fortunate that my parents could afford to send me there, being out of state.

So I was just appreciative that I was there, more than, you know, being argumentative or trying to create an issue or anything else. I guess I was pretty craven about, you know, just keeping my head down, and not making waves, and wanting to get through school with the best education I could, and get out 17:00and go to law school and do something.

I really didn't want any, you know, black marks on my curriculum.

Ren: When did you make the decision that you wanted to go to law school?

Kim: Well, I graduated with a degree, and I went up to Illinois, where I moved in with my parents. I had a job in Hopewell, Virginia for six months and then I was laid off because the polyester business was just not gonna pan out for Firestone. And so I went back to live in Chicago. And when I was living there, my father took me down and introduced me to a number of the lawyers that represented him. And they came from the gambit of, you know, this is a great life, you'll really like it, to I don't think you're smart enough to go to law school, don't bother. And that was the ultimate challenge.

So I decided to, you know, what the heck. I was 22 years old. I decided just to 18:00try it and see if I liked it. And it turned out to actually be the best four years of my life. It was just...as somebody who had a science background, I didn't think I would prosper in law school, and it was just the opposite because I had been taught at Virginia Tech to think analytically through scientific problems in math, and all the other people that were in my law school class, they had a terrible time analytically thinking about legal situations.

And as it turned out, we started with 240 students in our law school class, night and day, and in the night division we graduated 11. So there was a high attrition rate. Now some of those migrated to the day school and got out in three years, but in the four year just plodding through, it...a lot of attrition.

And the top three people in our class were myself and two electrical engineers.

19:00

Ren: Through science.

Kim: Yeah, three scientists.

Ren: Wow. So what year did you graduate from law school?

Kim: I was a 1975 graduate, John Marshall Law School. And then I'm a 1978 graduate of George Washington Law School. I got a master's degree in patent and trade regulation at George Washington.[10]

Ren: You started at Shell in 1985, correct?

Kim: I moved here in--actually interviewed in '84, moved here in early '85.

Ren: Can you kind of give us the timeline between once you graduated law school until you started here?

Kim: Well, I was at UOP in Des Plaines, Illinois. We were a oil licensing company. And I went and opened their Washington office.

20:00

Actually, it was Crystal City, but in Virginia. And I was there for about ten years and decided, just looking at it, that I only had five years' experience even though I'd been with the company for 15 years. And I didn't want to do that. And so our biggest licensee was Shell Oil Co., so I knew a few people, and I started asking around.

And they sent a recruiter up and interviewed me, and I interviewed with them. And when I found out that about 70% of their IP staff was eligible to retire, that meant that there were gonna be opportunities, and I liked the people anyway, so I resigned my position in Washington and moved to Houston,[11] in 21:00this lot, but not in this house.

And, you know, I was never sad about the decision I made. I had offers from big law firms in D.C. and they just were too cutthroat for me. And I didn't want to worry about billing and clientele and stuff. I just thought I would be happier in a corporate environment, and that's why I went with a corporation. And once I got there, made good friends, and it was a wonderful company to work for, a Dutch company.

Ren: If someone just simply says Virginia Tech, what's the first thing that you kind of think of?

Kim: Well, I think about my teaching up there in the College of Science.

Ren: Can you talk a little bit about that?

Kim: Well, I started in, I think it was, 2002 I went up for a guest lecture. And there was a lot of students that seemed to be interested, so they asked me to come back and volunteer to teach a course in 2003.

22:00

And I told them that because of the policies of Shell Oil Co., I couldn't take another job where I got reimbursed for money. I could get reimbursed for expenses, 'cause that was something that was not, you know, income to me. So I told them I would only do it on a volunteer basis, that's all I could do. And we started in 2003, and we went through about 16 years, 15 years, something like that, or 14 years. And the classes built up. [12]

And then about maybe eight years ago now Anna came into the school and she started to build it up as a minor. I know Dean Chang wanted me to do a lot more, but, you know, at the time I was doing major litigation, and I simply could not fiddle with all of the administration stuff that you needed to to expand the program or to get it into a minor stage.

23:00

Ren: And you were commuting, so that...

Kim: I would fly to Charlotte. You can't fly from here to Roanoke. It's almost impossible. And so I would fly to Charlotte and then drive for...at that time it was two and a half hours. Now it's about four hours up 77 to 81. And I didn't mind the travel because it got me out of the corporate complex and I could be around people like Dean Chang and other professors that operated in a totally different fashion than my confederates at Shell Oil Co., which was extremely profit driven, as it should have been. But the university was not that way. So I enjoyed my teaching there.

Ren: When graduates graduate from Virginia Tech, they become attached to the university in a way that I think is unique to the university, to Virginia Tech. And there's been polls and studies and things. Your driving and commuting on a volunteer basis is almost evidence of that. So why do you think maybe some 24:00alumni become so, you know, attached to the university?

Kim: Well, that's an excellent question that's not answerable, I don't think. There is a certain spirit at present, and the person that exemplified that the best was Dean Chang, to me. And I think he's the type of person that bonds people to a philosophy in school where you don't really see that--I don't see that from other people that I know that are graduates of North Carolina and Georgia Tech. I mean, they're all fond alumni, but it's different. And I can't really explain why it's so different, but it definitely is.[13]

25:00

I think the closest I can come to it is probably the UVA experience. You know, people that go to UVA love it there, and they're dedicated also to it. And I don't know whether it's a Virginia thing or a southern thing, but you don't see that at Houston. You do see that somewhat at Rice here. But UT is just too big and Texas A&M is kind of like Virginia Tech, but it's really big.

Ren: What changes have you seen throughout your time, both as a student and then also teaching there, and kind of what do you think about some of those changes?

Kim: Well, the students are much more attuned to life than I was. And they're much smarter than I was. I would not want to have to compete with these kids in the marketplace at that peer level. The students are really remarkable. And I 26:00may have had just the cream of the crop, I don't know.

But I've seen the students get more sophisticated and a lot more dedicated and competitive in the classroom. And that is something that's very good. I can't say that I've seen anything negative or bad about the progress of the university. It certainly is a fine place. And I was very impressed with President Steger. He was always nice to me.

And I was also most impressed by Dr. Sands and his wife. They are just super people. And I think that's the kind of thing that students remember. You know, you're just walking along the campus and you meet the president, and he speaks to you. And I think that's kind of the spirit that draws people back. But it's not a question I can answer, really. I don't think there is an answer to it.

Ren: Are there any changes that you would like to see at the university?

27:00

Kim: Oh, yeah, certainly. I would really like to see the university become more diverse and have a lot more people of color come there. And I would like to see the university spend money to bring people of color and Latinos into the school and educate them.[14]

We have--I'll give you an example. We have a junior college here--I won't name it--but a junior college, and I teach somewhat out there, too. And in the junior college, the students have to be there for about a year and a half in remedial education before they can start college. So it's a two year college with a four year degree, essentially. And a lot of that has to do with the fact that society has had such a bad impact upon schools where they're not in affluent areas.

28:00

And it perpetuates itself. And I'd like to see the school do something, and go in... What they did at the University of Texas is they said we understand this problem, and therefore everybody that graduates in the top 10% of their class is guaranteed admission. And so there are a lot of Hispanics and blacks that go under those programs, because if you have an all black school, 10% is gonna be the top 10% of the class. But I'd like to see Virginia Tech become more diverse, and I would like to see them have more of an outreach for people that may not have been fortunate enough to have the education you get in the Alexandria, Virginia schools, you know, in some of the rural schools.[15]

29:00

I can remember one of my classmates was from [Botatock] and one was from...I can't think of it now, but it's in the eastern part of the state. It's very, very rural. And they really didn't have the same civics understanding I had coming from a northern school. And it wasn't them. They were just as smart as I was. It was the opportunities that they had. I'd like to see the university do more in that framework.

And I also would really like to see the university on another track do much more with sophisticated research. They have so many smart professors there. And I know they do some at VTIP. But I just would like to see them do more of that and get more of a reputation. You know, I'm a patent lawyer, and a couple years ago Carnegie Mellon Institute, where there's a college, they were awarded over a billion dollars in damages for their chips that they invented.

I'd like the university to be on the forefront of something like that.

30:00

Ren: What would you like people to know about you that maybe they don't?

Kim: Well, that's a good question. I really don't know how to answer that question. I hope they know that I, at my time teaching at Virginia Tech, I really cared about the kids. I call them kids, but young adults. And wanted them to prosper. And even if I had to fly up there five times a semester or six times a semester, I wanted them to get a good education and learn about the things that I learned about.[16] You know, and to me a lot of me is family oriented. And I had the best parents in the world, and I now have the best two grandkids 31:00anybody could ask for. They live about a mile from here.

Ren: Oh, perfect.

Kim: And I'm taking my grandson to Disney next week, so that ought to be fun.

Ren: Oh, goodness. Good luck.

Kim: Yeah. I wanted to do it early in the year so I wouldn't have any money left to do anything else.

Ren: [Laughs.]

Kim: But I don't know. I would think that to know me you really have to know my wife. My wife is just a beautiful woman, and we've been married now for 25 years. And, you know, I hope I'm defined somewhat in her light as well as what I do for myself.

Ren: Maybe the last question or two. What does Virginia Tech mean to you?

Kim: Well, it means a place for students to get a good education.[17] And as in any university, you get the education commensurate with the effort you put into it. And if you go to Harvard and you don't try, you're gonna get a bad education.

If you go to, I don't know, Slovenia Junior College somewhere and you really try, and you really reach out to the professors and make a big effort, you can 32:00get a good education. And Virginia Tech, to me, is a place where, if you want to be an engineer or a scientist, and you want to spend the effort to do so, it is a place that you should really consider going.

There's other schools, you know, Cornell and Georgia Tech and North Carolina where, if you put in the same effort, you'll probably get the same kind of education. But I just think it's easier in Blacksburg where it's rural. It's a beautiful campus. It allows you to focus on what's going on at the university instead of, you know, like Georgia Tech you'd be in Atlanta, or Cornell you're 33:00in Ithaca. And it just seems to be a lot easier.

Plus I think Virginia Tech has an ability to train engineers better than any school in Virginia and almost any school in the country. If you really want to be a scientist or an engineer, it's an excellent place to learn it.

Ren: Well, we will let you go with that and let you get to dinner. Thank you so much.

Kim: Oh, okay. Well, thank you.

Ren: I really appreciate it.

Kim: Okay.

Ren: Short and sweet.

Kim: Okay. Is there anything else that you want to...

[Part 2.]

Kim: If you want me to.

Ren: Yeah, sure. Sounds good. And we're back. I wanted to ask you--and I kind of...

Kim: We can go for 15 more minutes. Is that okay?

Ren: Yeah, that's perfect.

Kim: Okay.

Ren: And I kind of skipped over this a little bit. I was reading, I guess, a profile of you and I found a couple things I wanted to ask you about. Do you still swim?

34:00

Kim: I do. I get up every morning and I go to the YMCA, and I usually put in a mile and a mile and a half every day. And it just, I do it just because it feels good to do. And it's a time--and I did this throughout my entire career at Shell--it's a time where you can relax your mind and just think through the day and what you're gonna be doing, and what's the best approach, you know, for things, and legal issues, and what you should be concentrating on.

I just find it to be, you know, almost a religion to be able to have your mind just focus on that black line on the pool and go back and forth and back and forth. And when you get into swimming, it's no effort. You just know when you get to the wall you have to turn around and go the other way. And I find it to be therapeutic, I guess.

Ren: Did you swim at Virginia Tech?

Kim: No.

Ren: You didn't?

Kim: No. I played a lot of intramural sports. As I told you, I wasn't good 35:00enough to play collegiate sports, NCAA sports. But no, I didn't swim at all. As a matter of fact, I really didn't start swimming till I moved down here in '85, simply because it's so hard in Alexandria, and it was hard in Blacksburg to find a decent pool.

Ren: Taking what you learned during your time at Virginia Tech, were there any lessons that you kept with you that you kind of took when you went to work with Shell and so on and so forth?

Kim: Oh, sure, sure.

Ren: And what were some of those?

Kim: Knowing what's the right thing to do and to do it even if it's inconvenient for you. Having the culture that the university taught me, my professors taught me. I think you would probably say the same thing if you went to another school, or I would say the same thing of another school. But yeah, I took all of that, 36:00knowing right from wrong and knowing the things that you should do and you shouldn't do. I think I learned that well at VT. And I've tried to do that my whole life, even when it may have not been convenient for me to do so.[18]

Ren: Do you have children?

Kim: I have a daughter, and she lives about a mile from here.

Ren: Is she a Virginia Tech grad?

Kim: No, she's a music major. And she wanted to go to the University of North Texas, so she did. She was not gonna get a good music education at Virginia Tech.

Ren: Right.

Kim: She was a flute major. And I just didn't feel like it was a good match.

37:00

Ren: When I was in high school I was in music and I looked at North Texas for percussion as well as Middle Tennessee State, so yeah, I know they have a really good program there.

Kim: They do, they do.

Ren: Did you ever suggest...when she was growing up did you ever suggest her to go to Virginia Tech?

Kim: No, she's not scientific, and she's terrible at math and chemistry. It just would not have been a good mix.

Ren: We talked a little bit about this, but the school motto, Ut Prosim, what other ways do you feel like you've kind of demonstrated that kind of throughout your life?

Kim: Well, I volunteered to teach at Tech. I was on the fire department here. I was the captain for a couple years, or the chief for a couple years. I was on the interior attack team for a couple years. I work at the Houston Zoo as a volunteer. And I handle animals, all kinds of animals.[19]

Ren: Oh, wow.

Kim: I teach to younger kids about why we have to have conservation and why it's 38:00important that even if you have these species like cockroaches, they're important. They're not to be feared. And I handle a lot of snakes for kids. Of course these are not venomous snakes, these are constrictors.

And kids are somewhat afraid of them to start with, but when you get right to it and you explain to kids, they seem to warm up, the boys more than the girls. And then also I do here a zoo mobile, which is we go out to the nursing homes, schools and, you know, libraries and we take animals with us, and we either entertain the people or we teach to kids. It's usually between kindergarten and 39:00third grade. Or in the nursing homes, of course, these people are in their 80s and 90s. And I do that. And I think, once again, on a volunteer basis. So I think I've done a lot of different things like that.

Ren: Fire department. Where did that come in?

Kim: Well, I moved here in '85, and somebody knocked on my door and said, do you want to be a fireman? And I said, well, is it volunteer? And they said yes. So I said, well, I'll come up. So I went up there on a Monday night, and then, believe it or not, they sent me to Texas A&M to fire school. [Laughs.]

Ren: [Laughs.] I just...a lawyer and, you know.

Kim: Yeah. And I liked it.

Ren: That's awesome.

Kim: And we would have calls, of course, in the middle of the night. I didn't like that 'cause I had to work the next day, but...

Ren: That's so cool.

Kim: I enjoyed it. And it was something that we could do for the community. And 40:00being a fireman, you do much more than just put out fires. You do insurance stuff. I mapped out a fire truck for us to buy in '93 or '94, and did all the specs for that. And then, you know, you deliver the Easter Bunny to the clubhouse, and Santa to the clubhouse in the fire truck, and you take kids for rides on the fire truck, and they really like it.

Ren: And I'm jumping around a little bit, so I apologize.

Kim: That's okay.

Ren: VT College of Science Hall of Distinction.

Kim: Right.

Ren: Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Kim: Well, it was an honor to be even mentioned in it. Every time I go up there for the induction, I always think, you know, I'm not in the same class with these people, you know, these people are brilliant. And so I'm humbled by being 41:00associated with some of these people in the Hall of Distinction. But it was a tremendous honor, and I'm glad I was enrolled there, or however you say it. But there's an awful lot of good people.

And the problem is not in the people that are in the college, the problem is making a line of distinction between the people that are not gonna get in and the people that should be in, because there's a whole lot of people that we review that are just fantastic people, but we only have three to five a year. And you have to look at some of the diversity aspects of that, and you want to, as much as you can, get VT grads or friends of the university.

Ren: I graduated with a biology degree in 2011, so keep me in mind.

42:00

Kim: In when?

Ren: 2011.

Kim: Okay, well, you better get to work.

Ren: So keep me in mind.

Kim: Some of these people are really, really impressive. They started companies, you know, they have patents, they do research. Just really impressive people.

Ren: Yeah, sounds good. Keep me in mind. [Laughs.] I guess I don't know that I have any questions. Do you have any? You're good. Okay.

So we'll let you get to dinner. I just wanted to ask you some more about you as a, you know, learn a little bit more about you. But is there anything you would like to say?

Kim: Well, being...having grown up in the Midwest and at Virginia Tech, I'm really too modest to talk about myself, but I went to Shell Oil in '85, and I 43:00had a great career there. I went up the hierarchy, I'll say, to a managing attorney, and then I had people reporting to me, and then we formed a leadership team that was global, so I was on that team of five people. And we would go to Holland, and I met everybody in the company, including the CEOs and everybody else.

Really topnotch people. The one thing I'll say that people don't understand is that people in the oil industry, at least Shell, and I think probably BP, too, that are European companies, we really do care about the environment. We are not out there to create problems. We're there to make sure that the country has the energy it needs to sustain its economy.

44:00

But the Shell and Exxon and BP, they're made up of the same kind of people that make up GM, Apple, Microsoft. And the nature of the people that I worked with at Shell were just fantastic. And I was honored to go out as associate general counsel, and there were only three out of 69 lawyers when I finished, so I was very proud of my record there.

Ren: Yeah, absolutely. Thank you so much.

Kim: Okay.

Ren: Thanks for speaking with us.

Kim: Okay.

Ren: Thanks.

interesting note . birthplace how he came to VT . block quote in the VT bubble Sound Clip funny . how he got to TX voluntarily teaching at VT Sound Clip? changes he'd like to see also wants to see more outreach for students from schools with less opportunities block quote . lesson VT taught him applying Ut Prosim to his life