Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Wayne H. King Department of Chemical & Natural Gas Engineering dedicated Dr. William Heenan, center, unveils the plaque honoring alumnus and supporter Wayne H. King, right, as Dr. Kay Clayton, left, looks on.

KINGSVILLE - May 18, 2007

Contact: Jill Scoggins
jill.scoggins@tamuk.edu or 361-593-2146

Dr. William Heenan, center, unveils the plaque honoring alumnus
and supporter Wayne H. King, right, as Dr. Kay Clayton, left,
looks on.

About 75 guests gathered in the Founders’ Room of Texas A&M University-Kingsville May 12 to celebrate the renaming of a department in honor of an alumnus and supporter of the university.

The Wayne H. King Department of Chemical and Natural Gas Engineering was dedicated at a luncheon honoring King. The event marked a milestone for the university as the first time an academic department was named in honor of a supporter.

Presiding was Dr. Kay Clayton, provost and vice president for academic affairs, who said, “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. 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.”

Dr. William Heenan, dean of the Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering, presented a university resolution to King, and Dr. Ali Pilehvari, department chair, provided a history of the department, which was established by Dotterweich, the university’s first dean of engineering, in 1937 at then-Texas A&I University.

A plaque with King’s likeness was unveiled at the luncheon and will be permanently displayed in the entry of the Dotterweich College of Engineering Complex. It reads, “This humble and dedicated Javelina engineer was always willing to help the next generation of graduates, first by serving Texas A&I University, then Texas A&M University-Kingsville. His leadership, spirit and commitment leave a legacy that will inspire future engineering students for as long as this institution lives on.”

King was among the students who were taught by Dotterweich – known as “Doc’s Boys” – and graduated from Texas A&I 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 Corp. 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.

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.

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