The William B. and Mary G. Mitchell Chair of Engineering was established in April 1998. In August of 2001, Dr. Harley R. Myler became the inaugural holder of the chair. The Mitchell's are both 1958 graduates of Lamar University, Bill earned a degree in mechanical engineering while Mary received a degree in social science.
William B. Mitchell is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Curtis Wright Corporation, Primex Technologies, and The Dallas Opera, as well as other community service boards. He also serves, by appointment by the Governor of Texas, on the Texas Science and Technology Council and the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund board. He continues to participate in a broad range of activities in business, government, civic affairs, and education since his retirement.
In 1993, Mr. Mitchell became vice chairman of Texas Instruments, a position he held until his retirement in December 1996. As a member of the office of the Chairman and Chief Executive, he was directly involved with the company's strategic redirection, new market development, and global business activities in systems, software, and components.
From 1991 to 1993 he was president of Texas Instruments Systems and Equipment Sector, which included Defense Systems and Electronics Group, Information Technology Group, Custom Manufacturing Services, Corporate Venture Projects, Central Research Laboratories, Corporate Strategic Planning, and Corporate Services.
Mr. Mitchell assumed the additional responsibility for the Information Technology Group in 1989, following his promotion to president of the Defense Systems and Electronics Group in 1984. As president, his responsibilities included avionics, missile and electro-optic systems, advanced technology, and component development.
During the early days of his operational career in the company's Defense Systems and Electronics Group, he worked as a design engineer. He began his career at Texas Instruments in 1961.
Mr. Mitchell received a master of science degree in engineering with a major in electrical engineering from Southern Methodist University in 1965.