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John S. Ball

Distinguished Engineer: 1977

Degree: Chemical Engineering – 1934

Citation at Time of Nomination in 1977

In 1934, John S. Ball received his Bachelor of Science degree with the first class of chemical engineers to graduate from Texas Tech. This Hamlin, Texas, native continued his formal studies at Tech and, in 1936, was awarded a Master of Science degree with a major in organic chemistry. From that time until 1938, he was involved in graduate study at the University of Colorado.

His first job was with the United States Bureau of Mines at Laramie, Wyoming, and lasted for a quarter of a century during which time he was recognized in 1953 by the Jaycees as the Outstanding Young Man in Federal Government, and in 1954, by the Department of the Interior which presented him the Department’s Distinguished Service Award.

In 1963, Mr. Ball was transferred to the Bureau of Mines organization at Bartlesville, Oklahoma where, for 12 years, he served as director of research. In the past two years, he has been director of the Bartlesville Energy Research Center, U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration, at Bartlesville. Not only has he served the nation with distinction during the periods of plentiful, cheap energy and scarce, expensive energy, but he has also deeply involved himself in civic, professional, and church activities. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi; The American Chemical Society, of which he has chaired a number of committees; American Petroleum Institute, in which organization he has directed two major research projects; The Geochemical Society; and the American Association for Advancement of Science. He is a Fellow in the American Institute of Chemists and is listed in American Men of Science.

Mr. Ball has held leadership positions in Kiwanis Clubs since 1953, has been a member of the board of directors of his city’s Chamber of Commerce for the past 12 years, and is president of the Cherokee Area Boy Scouts Council. He was presented the Scout’s Silver Beaver Award in 1974. His church activities have ranged from president of the student union during his college days to Sunday School teacher, moderator, treasurer, and building committee chairman.

Because of his leadership and accomplishments in professional and civic activities, it is a great pleasure for Texas Tech University to designate John Sigler Ball: DISTINGUISHED ENGINEER.

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