William D. Young III of Ridgeland delivers this fall's address in The University of Mississippi (UM) School of Engineering's Distinguished Alumni Lecture series. The event is scheduled Sept. 12 at 3 p.m. in the Anderson Auditorium.
A 1984 UM civil engineering graduate, Young is the founding president of Pinnacle Construction, LLC, in Ridgeland. Prior to establishing his own company, he worked nine years as a vice president for Benchmark Construction in Jackson. A member of the UM Engineering Alumni Board and the Campaign for Engineering National Steering Committee, Young returns to his alma mater to tell young students what it's like to find success armed with an engineering degree from Ole Miss.
"I'm a real advocate of Ole Miss engineering, because I think graduates of the Ole Miss School of Engineering are so competitively well-rounded and able to take care of not only problems that arise directly related to engineering but also other aspects," he said. "When you graduate from Ole Miss engineering programs, you're much more than just a numbers-cruncher. The communication, business and liberal arts atmosphere focus your learning on becoming a business professional and not just an engineer."
Young's first job after college was with Hensley Schmidt, Inc., in Atlanta, as a design engineer, and he eventually advanced to consulting engineer. From Schmidt, Young joined Marathon Oil Company in Atlanta, as a project engineer. He then accepted a position as director of engineering with McGee Corporation in Charlotte, N.C., where he spent one year before joining Benchmark. A graduate of Battle Ground Academy in Franklin, Tenn., Young's UM resume reflects that he was a Dean's List scholar, and he served offices in the Associated Engineering Student Body and the American Society of Civil Engineers. He also was an Ole Miss cheerleader.
Young's current professional involvement includes membership on the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Associated Builders and Contractors; one of a 10-member panel of experts for the National Associated Builders and Contractors Board, tasked with producing a manual for the operation of an emerging contractor; and chairman of the Board of Directors of Terra Technologies, Inc. He serves Madison County as a member of both the Economic Development Foundation and Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the Mississippi Construction Education Foundation of the Central Mississippi Region. Young was voted a year 2000 "Top 40 Under 40" business professional in Mississippi by the Mississippi Business Journal. He won the 1989 and 1990 Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.'s "Award of Merit" for excellence in general construction under $2 million.
A hunting and fishing hobbyist, Young has been featured in such magazines as The Waterfowler's World, Sports Afield, Field & Stream, and Ducks Unlimited. A member of St. Richards Catholic Church, Young and his wife, Kathy, are the parents of two children, Will, 11, and Allison, 9.
(Article appeared in Ole Miss Engineer, Vol. 41, No. 2, Fall 2001.)