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College of Engineering & Science - Louisiana Tech University


College Deans: Joseph Jackson Thigpen

1894-1901: Professor Herget
1901-1903: Harry Gwinner
1903-1907: R.W. Selvidge
1907-1910: William B. Hamilton
1910-1918: Frank Bogard
1918-1923: W. L. Mitchell
1923-1937: Frank Bogard
1937-1938: J. T. Folk
1938-1940: E. C. Barrett
1940-1942: Roy T. Sessums
1942-1945: Harley J. Nethken
1945-1952: Roy T. Sessums
1952-1976: Ben Bogard
1976-1982: Jack Thigpen
1982-1987: C. Ray Wimberly
1987-1988: R. Michael Harnett
1988-1998: Barry Benedict
1998-2004: Leslie K. Guice
2004-2013: Stanley A. Napper

Dr. Jack Thigpen served as head of the department of mechanical engineering at Louisiana Tech University from June 1953 through 1976. He was born in Ruston, Louisiana on February 4, 1917. He attended school in Ruston, and received his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering in May 1936 from the Louisiana Polytechnic School, now known as Louisiana Tech University.

Upon graduation, Dr. Thigpen worked for a year with Seismic Explorations before entering the United States Military academy from which he graduated in 1941. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers and served as a regular officer for approximately six years. Dr. Thigpen joined the faculty of Louisiana Tech University in September of 1947, upon resignation of his commission in the army. Dr. Thigpen served on the faculty at Louisiana Tech from 1947 until 1980. During his stay at Louisiana Tech, he was granted leave to complete graduate work at the University of Texas where he earned his Master’s degree in 1951 and his Doctorate in 1959.

Dr. Thigpen’s list of honors and awards is long. Some of the most notable of his awards are the Danforth Teacher Study Grant, 1957-58, Tau Beta Pi Teaching Excellence Award, 1962, and the Engineering Achievement Award, 1970. Dr. Thigpen also served as president of Louisiana Engineering Society, 1965, and president of the Louisiana Teacher’s Association form 1966-67.

As a final honor to Dr. Thigpen’s service to Louisiana Tech University, the Jack Thigpen Mechanical Engineering Scholarship was established at Louisiana Tech in 1979. The $1000 annual scholarship is received by a worthy mechanical engineering student exemplifying the character of Dr. Thigpen himself, including scholarship, service to others, and dedication to Louisiana Tech University. Dr. Thigpen exemplifies the character and ambition for which all engineers and individuals should strive to achieve.