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Harley D. Henry

Distinguished Engineer: 1983

Degree: Petroleum Engineering – 1959

Citation at Time of Nomination in 1983

Harley D. Henry was born in Brownwood, Texas, lived a portion of his pre–school years in Penwell, attended elementary and junior high school in Odessa, and received his high school diploma from Crane (Texas) High School in 1954. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Petroleum Engineering from Texas Tech in 1959.

After graduation from Tech, Mr. Henry joined the U.S. Air Force and became a Flight instructor. He was honorably discharged in 1965, with the rank of Captain. He is still active as a pilot today, primarily in his business pursuits, and has earned a Commercial Instrument rating.

After leaving the Force. Mr. Henry was employed by the Cosden Oil and Chemical Company of Big Springs, Texas, as a development engineer in the Research and Development Department. In this capacity, he designed a semiautomatic pigment weighing system for coloring polystyrene, a feeding system for extruders, and a complete furniture molding plant for Cosden’s parent company in Brussels, Belgium. In 1967, he was assigned to High Point, North Carolina, as a market development engineer for Cosden. His principal duties were to assist furniture manufacturers in the use of plastics and to provide technical assistance to custom molding companies in the area. Mr. Henry left Cosden to form a partnership, M&H Plastics, in December, 1968. M&H was a marketing organization representing several manufacturers of plastic parts used by the furniture industry. In 1969, Mr. Henry was selected by a group of investors to prepare a study on the feasibility of constructing a plastic injection molding manufacturing facility in High Point. The proposal met the group’s approval and Mr. Henry was asked to be the president of the new company, which was Styrex Industries. Inc. Construction of the plant began shortly thereafter and production of injection molded parts commenced the following January. Today, Mr. Henry directs a dynamic growth–oriented business with two plants and 165 employees. During the thirteen years of his continued leadership, Styrex gross sales have climbed from $140K in the first year to a peak of more than $10M in 1981. The motto of the company is perhaps a reflection of Mr. Henry’s philosophy, "Quality People/Quality Products."

Active in the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI), Inc. since 1974, Mr. Henry was a member of the Board of Directors from 1976 through 1978. He also served as chairman of the Furniture Division of SPI. He has written several articles and technical papers on the use of plastics in the manufacturing of furniture and in 1978 he conducted a two–day seminar in Charlotte, North Carolina, on the "Proper Use of Plastics in the Furniture industry."

Mr. Henry is married to the former June Thornton. They have three daughters. Renee, Regina and Reniece.

An active member of the Oakview Baptist Church, High Point, North Carolina, Mr. Henry has served as a Sunday School teacher, Sunday School superintendent, and educational director. His hobbies include golf, boating, flying and family activities. He is a member and past president of the Colonial Club in Thomasville, North Carolina.

Texas Tech takes pride in bestowing upon Mr. Harley D. Henry the title of DISTINGUISHED ENGINEER.

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