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WDC Founder Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

William D. Mensch, Jr. received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Arizona's College of Engineering on December 8, 2005, at a luncheon held at the Arizona Biltmore. He has previously been identified in the book "Leaders of the Information Age" as one of the 250 individuals – dating back to the 14th century – who set the foundation for today’s Information Technology industry.

Mr. Mensch is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of The Western Design Center, Inc. (WDC), a company that has been based in Arizona for the past 27 years. If you would like more details or would like to schedule an interview with Mr. Mensch please contact:

The Western Design Center, Inc.
2166 East Brown Road
Mesa, AZ 85213
Ph 480.962.4545
Fx 480.835.6442

Included is a copy of Mr. Mensch’s acceptance speech.

University of Arizona College of Engineering’s
Lifetime Achievement Award
Acceptance Speech
Given December 8, 2005
Thank you Tom (following his introducing me)!

Today is a wonderful day for my family and me.

I am delighted to receive the College of Engineering’s Lifetime Achievement Award today. I couldn′t have been more surprised and pleased when Dean Peterson called me earlier this fall to ask if I would accept this award. Since Tom first called I have been reflecting on my “lifetime” and what it means to me to receive this award and especially from the College of Engineering.

I thought I would share some information about my life that makes this award all the more significant for me. I grew up as a middle child in a loving family of 8 children on a dairy farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania which is situated about 35 miles north of Philadelphia in Bedminster Township. I was 20 when the farm was sold. The farm house did not have a bathroom so we had an outhouse and a galvanized tub was filled with water from the kitchen for baths. The one and two room elementary schools I attended had 3 and 4 grades per room and they, too, had only outhouses. The farm filled my life with farm chores (which always seemed to come first), hunting, fishing, exploring, and playing games with family and a few close friends. It’s hard to believe this is still the same lifetime. When my wife, Dianne, and I visit family in Pennsylvania and drive by one of the small one room elementary schools, I like saying to her “You know a boy who went to school here designed microprocessors that changed the world”. In that rural setting, and if you knew that boy as I do it’s hard to comprehend that he would be standing here before you today receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award. My life has been a magical life filled with joy.

I have many people to thank who have taught me, worked with me, guided me, supported me in one way or another, loved me and were just there for me. I see my achievements as team effort. It would be impossible to mention all who have helped me in the allotted time so I have found yet another use of the Internet. I will be posting the acceptance speech I am giving today on our Western Design Center website ( I plan to expand it to acknowledge those who I feel helped me throughout the years. I do want to take this opportunity to thank the past and especially the current employees of The Western Design Center for their contribution through the last 27 years. I also want to thank my Pennsylvania family, my wife, Dianne, and our five children, Alexandra, Elizabeth, Summer, David and Katherine, their spouses and their children all whom are the core of my personal happiness.

I would like to take this time to thank all who were involved with the process of selecting me for this award. I credit my UofA professors for preparing me for my career in engineering and Motorola for giving me the opportunity to design microprocessors. Getting my EE degree from the UofA was without a doubt a life changing event for me, and I will be forever grateful to the University for giving me my excellent education, for making me part of The Wildcat Family, and for honoring me with this award. Thank you!


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2166 E. Brown Rd. Mesa, Arizona 85213
phone: 480 962-4545, fax: 480 835-6442

Last updated 01/05/2021
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