Jim Rushton ’67 was named a winner of the East Tennessee Economic Council’s Muddy Boot Award.

Jim Rushton

The Muddy Boot Award pays tribute to people who make East Tennessee better through their work and community activities. It was established nearly 50 years ago to honor people “who have gone above the call of duty—like those who served the nation during the Manhattan Project during adverse conditions, sometimes actual rivers of mud—to make the community, the state of Tennessee, and the nation a better place to live and work,” a press release said.

Rushton, who is retired from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, received the award for his distinguished career at ORNL and for his service to the Oak Ridge community.

Rushton’s career spanned more than three decades at the laboratory. He rose from being a staff member through various leadership roles in project management and group leadership to ultimately serve as division director of Nuclear Science and Technology Division and then the Director of Special Projects –Global Security Directorate.

In these roles, he led the establishment of new capabilities for the nuclear fuel cycle, nuclear nonproliferation, and isotope research, development, and production, the press release said.

Since his retirement in 2011, Rushton has stayed involved in helping bring businesses to Oak Ridge and continued to contribute to the scientific community by serving on advisory boards for ORNL, U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, ETEC, and other entities.

“Jim’s involvement continues his legacy of contributing not only to the Oak Ridge area but in also strengthening the nation’s science and technology capabilities,” said Alan Icenhour, deputy for laboratory operations at ORNL.

Rushton graduated with his bachelor’s degree in physics from Wabash College and received his master’s and doctorate in nuclear engineering from the University of Wisconsin. While at Wabash, he was a member of Beta Theta Pi.