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Dr. Gary Mueller, a longtime professor of nuclear engineering at S&T, recently retired after 40 years of service. The hundreds of students he taught through the decades no doubt remember him not only for his support and mentorship, but also for his 1977 Ford Pinto Cruise Wagon.
“My students obsessed over my Pinto,” Mueller says. “It was always, ‘How’s the Pinto? How’s the Pinto?’”
Mueller tells the story from sometime in the 2000s of driving the car to within a quarter-mile of 100,000 miles. He then pulled into a parking lot near Parker Hall on the S&T campus. Several students piled into the Pinto, and they drove around and around until the odometer hit 100K.
“We had a cake, had a party,” Mueller says. “The students went nuts.”
Mueller knew when he graduated with a bachelor’s degree that he wanted a future in teaching and research.