Thanks to these partners for their continued involvement in our community and education.
Technician turns work into fun
Name: L. Dale Bippus
Occupation: Chemical engineer; retired general manager U.S. Bureau of Mines, U.S. Helium Operations.
Where did you receive your education?
Amarillo High School; associate degree, Amarillo College; bachelor's degree, Texas Tech University; graduate work at West Texas A&M University.
How has your education played a role in your life today?
It gave me the ability to choose where I would work and to choose work that was challenging and exciting. We designed mostly one-of-a-kind equipment that operated at high pressures and at temperatures near absolute zero. Education has allowed me to enjoy life to the fullest even in retirement.
What was your greatest educational challenge and how did you overcome it?
When I was 15 years old, my father had several heart attacks and died. I had to go to work. I would open our service station in the morning, go to school, return to work after school and close at 9 p.m. Even though I worked, my mother sacrificed to help me financially. It was difficult to pay my expenses at Amarillo College and Texas Tech.
What is the value of your education?
Priceless. My education allowed me to work at a job I truly enjoyed that was challenging and rewarding. I got to work with many wonderful people at Helium Operations. At one time, we employed more than 700 people with five industrial plants in three states, and our natural-gas field had helium stored underground that was worth more than $1 billion.
What would you say to someone who's undecided about continuing their education?
Whether it is trade school or college, education will make your life easier and richer. Education gives you choices and is something no one can take from you.
When did you make education a priority?
In high school I could see that furthering my education would enrich my life and make it easier.
What made you realize the importance of education in your life?
After I had worked a few years, I saw I needed more than technical knowledge to get ahead. For nine years at WT, I took night courses in accounting, statistics, law, finance, etc., which allowed me to understand the business side of my work. My supervisors encouraged me and gave me assignments which used my new knowledge. Promotions soon followed.
Did you ever thing about quitting? What made you keep going?
I never thought about quitting. Education was very important to me. My wife, Judi, always supported and encourage me. Also, I was blessed with an ample supply of stubbornness.
Copyright 2008 Amarillo Globe-News :: Amarillo.com