Electrical Engineering – 1933
Alpha M. Wiggins was a distinguished engineer from Texas Tech during a long, successful, and generous lifetime. He was born in 1911 in Plainview and graduated from Tech in Electrical Engineering in 1933. Mr. Wiggins earned a Master’s Degree from the University of Texas–Austin, in 1936 and by 1949, was included in American Men of Science for his inventions and leadership in acoustical engineering. In 1960, his biography appeared in Who’s Who in Finance and Industry, but these citations do not point to the human achievements of the man.
Alpha Wiggins’ character was formed early. In 1927, he won the Lubbock to Amarillo and return bike marathon, fighting wind, rain, and mud for 27 hours and 42 minutes. After crossing the finish line, he immediately turned around and rode back to look for two fellow bikers. "Blondie," as he was called, was a carrier for the Avalanche Journal, and the newspaper gave glowing reports of his determination and humility, qualities that characterized him throughout his life.
Mr. Wiggins began his career as party chief for Seismic Explorations, Inc. in Houston. He also worked for RCA in Princeton, New Jersey as an acoustical engineer and in 1945 became engineering director of Electro-Voice, Inc. in Buchanan, Michigan, where he remained for 15 years. In 1959, Mr, Wiggins assumed the presidency of Euphonics, Inc. in Puerto Rico, where he remained until 1969. He consulted for five years before retiring and dedicated himself, at least in part, to philanthropic work.
As an engineer, he was responsible for more than 50 patents, including the comparative decibel meter and the unidirectional microphone. He published regularly and was an outstanding success in business. As a patron to Texas Tech Electrical Engineering students, he made possible more than 17 scholarships. A scholarship endowment is currently building in his name. He is an example to friends, colleagues, and students.
Mr. Wiggins died in Amarillo on October 9, 1984. We are grateful to his wife, Joan Dillavou Wiggins, for accepting the award of DISTINGUISHED ENGINEER in memory of Alpha M. Wiggins.