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College Honors 50-Year Alumni

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

50-year alumni appear with Dean Behbehani, President Emeritus Wendell Nedderman, and President Vistasp Karbhari

The College honored four alumni from 1963 on November 17. From left, Dean Khosrow Behbehani, President Emeritus Wendell Nedderman, Ellis Dawson, President Vistasp Karbhari, Ernest Hedgcoth, John Youngblood, and Johnny Vanlandingham.

Four College of Engineering alumni renewed their bonds with UTA at special festivities honoring 50-year alumni during UTA’s Homecoming weekend November 16-17.

Ellis Dawson (BSEE) was a co-op student with General Dynamics (now known as Lockheed Martin) and Texas Instruments the last two years of college to earn money and get experience in the engineering field. After graduation, he went to work full time for General Dynamics. During his 40-year career there, he worked in Special Projects, F-111, F-16 and the F-22 airplanes as a System Design and Avionics engineer, retiring in 2000.  He progressed from Engineer to Director during the course of his career. After retiring, he was recalled as a consultant on the F-150 program and, later on, was asked to evaluate cost data on the F-35 program. He now lives in Fort Worth and is married with four sons and four grandchildren.

Ernest Hedgcoth (BSCE) was born and raised in Fort Worth. After graduation, he married his wife, Phyllis, in 1963 and went to work at the Texas Department of Transportation until 1966. He worked for the Federal Power Commission from 1966-1978 inspecting dams and hydroelectric plants. In August 1978, he opened Ernest Hedgcoth Consulting Engineers, Inc., working on civil engineering, structural projects, and surveying. He still works and enjoys the different opportunities that engineering has provided over the years. He says that Arlington State College (UTA) gave him a great education and he is proud of the way it has grown and become a leader in the engineering field.

Johnny Vanlandingham (BSME, MSME) went to work at LTV for 9 ½ years after graduating from UTA. He returned to earn a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, in 1972, and was one of the first students to study under Dr. Wolff after he finished his tenure as UTA president and returned to engineering. After that, he spent a year in Waxahachie at Joy Petroleum and left there for a career at Bell Helicopter, where he spent more than 30 years. He retired in 2008 as a Senior Fellow and Chief of Propulsion Engineering. 

John Youngblood (BSEE) earned his doctoral degree from Oklahoma State after leaving UTA.  He has worked in several industries and climbed the ladder to become CEO of a New York Stock Exchange company. Along the way, he was involved in two IPO's and one hostile takeover defense. He retired to southwest Louisiana in 2003, and he was recently elected President of a small company that has run out of cash, with a goal of restarting it and creating sufficient value to enable investors to succeed. The company has patented technology for micro hydroelectric turbines. He has been married for 50 years and has four children, 10 grandchildren and one great grandchild on the way.

Each alumnus was presented with a special 50-year pin at a special luncheon held in their honor.