STEPHENVILLE — The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents today approved turning Tarleton State University’s School of Engineering into a stand-alone college and naming it in honor of longtime benefactor and retired Lockheed Martin executive Dr. Dwain Mayfield.
This marks the first time Tarleton has named an academic college for an individual. A celebration is planned for late summer.
“When our $54 million state-of-the-art School of Engineering Building debuted in 2019, there was no doubt it one day would house a stand-alone college,” said Tarleton President James Hurley. “Dwain backed the new facility and a future college from concept to bold mission as a pipeline for proficient engineering, technology, construction and computer science graduates.”
The President said creating the stand-alone Mayfield College of Engineering makes sense considering the state’s growing need for engineers, engineering technologists and computer scientists, plus the School of Engineering’s record enrollment — approaching 1,000. So does naming it for Distinguished Alumnus Dwain Mayfield.
“There is no more enthusiastic and dedicated friend of the university,” Dr. Hurley said. “In his role as a past president of the Tarleton State University Foundation, his coaching of our outstanding students on the aeronautical team and service on the Tarleton Engineering Advisory Committee, and his ever-ready willingness to build a top-tier university, Dwain is a true Texan.”
Although engineering technology has been integral to Tarleton since 1917, the university didn’t launch a bachelor’s in engineering (physics) until 2000, followed quickly by computer science and environmental engineering.
Academic programming has accelerated since then, with the addition of a master’s program in computer engineering in 2020 and another in mechanical engineering last fall. New undergraduate degrees are planned — in cybersecurity, aerospace and industrial distribution — as well as master’s programs in construction science and civil and environmental engineering.
The RELLIS Academic Alliance has invited Tarleton to offer several engineering programs in Bryan, and there are expanded offerings in Fort Worth. Doctoral programs in computer science and mechanical engineering are on the horizon.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects engineering job growth nationwide to increase 7 percent by 2026, with demand in civil, mechanical and industrial growing fastest. Texas ranks second behind only California in engineers employed (240,750 and 331,090) and annual median wage earned ($94,020 and $105,310).
“Engineering created limitless possibilities for my wife, Lynda, and me, giving us an opportunity to see the top of the world,” Mayfield said. “There’s a bright future for students who choose an engineering degree at Tarleton. It is a great honor to be part of that.”
Mayfield earned an associate degree at Tarleton, then bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from Texas A&M University and a master’s in business administration from TCU. Tarleton awarded him an honorary doctorate of humane letters in 2017. He is a member of the Dean’s Circle for the College of Science and Technology and, with Lynda, has established an endowed scholarship for engineering students.
Before becoming President of ADM Global Resources, an international consulting firm, he played a major role in the success of the F-16 fighter jet as an engineer at Fort Worth’s General Dynamics (now Lockheed Martin), advancing to Vice President for Program Development and leading worldwide marketing for the F-16.
In addition to Tarleton, Mayfield has been active with Texas A&M as past Chairman of the board of The Association of Former Students and as a member of the President’s Advisory Council and the Dwight Look College of Engineering Advisory Council. He is a member of the A&M System Chancellor’s Century Council and a Distinguished Alumnus of Texas A&M University — the highest honor given to former A&M students.