TTU names Dudley Garner Jr. as its first International Alumnus of the YearTennessee Tech University's first International Alumnus, engineering graduate Dudley Garner Jr., accepted the honor announced at a banquet this weekend honoring Garner and five other Outstanding Alumni of the Year.
Garner, chairman of Symetrics Technology Group with operations in Florida and Texas, has distinguished himself as a design engineer, manager and entrepreneur.
"I don't believe there is anyone that appreciates what Tennessee Tech did for them more than I do," said Garner, as he received the award in front of more than 200 guests at the Leslie Town Centre. "I don't believe there's a more vocal booster, or anyone more proud of Tennessee Tech."
Garner, who carved out a career in the aerospace industry after graduation, credited TTU with much of his success.
"Due to the academic background I got here at Tech, I always felt that I had a slight edge," said Garner.
A staunch Tennessee Tech supporter, Garner, along with his friend Lt. Gen. Ret. Don Rodgers, contacted classmates and started the EE Class of 1957 Scholarship Endowment in 1995.
"In 1995, we gave a scholarship to a student who attended my high school in Franklin County," said Garner. "About 12 years later, I met his father. He personally thanked me for the contribution that I'd made to his son's education, and that impressed me.
"As I reflect on my life and career, I see that God has been leading me all the way through," he said. "Through him, I learned the gift of giving. I know that many of you are givers and I encourage you. The gift of giving is incredible."
Garner and his wife have also established three college scholarships through two churches and a high school for deserving students needing financial assistance.
The other Tennessee Tech University alumni who received recognition were L.O. "Buzz" Heidtke, Gary Nixon, Rodney Atkins, Dana Dukes York, and Charles Chitwood.