Texas A&M University-Kingsville

A&M-Kingsville Chemical and Natural Gas Engineering Department Named After Distinguished Alumnus Wayne King

KINGSVILLE - March 13, 2007

Contact: Jason Marton
jason.marton@tamuk.edu or 361-593-4143

KINGSVILLE, TX (March 13, 2007) – The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents approved a request from Texas A&M University-Kingsville to name its department of chemical and natural gas engineering after alumnus and retired Valero Energy Corp. senior executive Wayne King.

The board took the action at its February meeting in College Station. The department will be formally renamed in a dedication ceremony scheduled for May 12 on the Kingsville campus.

King graduated from Texas A&I University in 1959 with a B.S. in petroleum and natural gas engineering and an ROTC commission in the U.S. Army. After two years of active duty, he joined Dow Chemical as a pipeline design engineer and later worked as a consultant with Shell Oil Co. In 1969, King joined the forerunner of Valero Energy and helped shape a corporation that was not only to become the largest intrastate pipeline company within Texas, but would later become the largest refining corporation in the U.S. King retired from Valero in 1992 and formed Fairfield Resources, an energy consulting firm.

“Wayne King is a reminder to all of us that we have very humble and dedicated Javelina alumni that love their alma mater and are willing to ‘step up to the plate’ to help the next generation of Javelina graduates,” said Dr. Rumaldo Z. Juárez, president of Texas A&M-Kingsville.

“In his own quiet, but very effective demeanor, Wayne has contributed greatly to the success of this university. Because of his assistance, numerous future students are going to benefit and become productive citizens of our state and country.” 

King has provided support and services to his alma mater for more than 40 years. He served on the original committee that formed the first staffed Javelina Alumni Association in the late 1960s. He served on the Alumni Board from 1977 until 1983 and was elected association president in 1983. Also, in 1983, Gov. Mark White appointed him to a six-year term to the Board of Regents of the University System of South Texas, which governed Texas A&I. As a regent, King served on two A&I presidential search committees and assisted in guiding his alma mater through the transition and incorporation into the Texas A&M System.      

He has served on two College of Engineering dean search committees, as well as on the committees that have selected all four Frank H. Dotterweich Chairs in Natural Gas Engineering. In 2004, the Javelina Alumni Association honored King with its highest recognition by naming him a Distinguished Alumnus. He also has been instrumental in the university’s current Building on Our Traditions capital campaign, the first such campaign in the history of the university.

“When President Juarez notified me that the Board of Regents of the A&M System had approved naming the chemical and natural gas engineering department in my honor, it was overwhelming,” King said. “From past experience, events like this don’t just happen. This had to be a ‘grassroots effort’ by a host of people who put in a lot of work and effort.

“Frank Dotterweich, for whom the College of Engineering is named, was a mentor to me as well as to many of his other students. Having a department named in honor of one of ‘Doc’s Boys’ would make Doc very proud! My sincerest thank you to all who made this happen. It is truly a humbling experience.”

Juarez noted of King, “Every university should be as fortunate as we are to have alumnae of Wayne’s caliber. Naming the department of chemical and natural gas engineering after Wayne is a small way that we can demonstrate our appreciation for his contributions to his alma mater and especially to the future generations of engineering graduates from Texas A&M University-Kingsville.”

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