September 18, 2007

The Department of Mechanical Engineering (ME) will be naming a Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Student Shop laboratory in honor of Mr. Robert C. Alford. Mr. Alford is a 1957 ME graduate and Founder, Chairman and CEO of AWC, Inc. of Baton Rouge.  During a recent conversation over lunch, ME Department Chair Glenn Sinclair noted to Mr. Alford that one day he would like to update the machine shop.  Mr. Alford says, “He hit my "hot button" because that was one of my favorite classes when I was at LSU. I always thought that class provided excellent practical experience. I can remember thinking that the equipment was outdated at the time I was taking the course and Glenn made it sound like that was still the case. I was already planning on making a donation to the Mechanical Engineering Department, so this seemed like the perfect fit.” The equipment has been installed in the Engineering Lab building and the room has also received fresh paint and new furniture. ME Department Chair Glenn Sinclair said “Dick Juneau originally approached Bob regarding investment opportunities at LSU. The suggestion of a shop shared in Bob’s view of how he wanted to help. Good engineers need to have an appreciation of how things are made, and a good shop provides important tools for student learning.”

Supporters of LSU may wish to consider a unique philanthropic gift opportunity:  a College of Engineering Laboratory Investment. With a minimum gift of $100,000, laboratory naming options provide donors the opportunity to make a difference in the College and physically improve individual departments, giving LSU students and faculty the tools they need to excel. Contact the CoE Office of Development for additional information.

Article by Mimi LaValle, LSU college of Engineering, 225-578-5706,

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