By: Danielle Sheahan
Featuring Dr. Jerry Bayless and his much deserved retirement. He has given much of his life to the Missouri S&T campus, especially the CArE (Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering) Department. Dr. Jerry Bayless, P.E. was an Associate Professor in Structural Engineering and is now holds the title Emeritus. Emeritus is an honorary title given to a well accomplished professor who does not teach presently. He has been on the campus since he started his education at the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy (now known as Missouri S&T) in Civil Engineering in 1955. He completed his undergraduate degree in 1959 and immediately joined the university faculty. He continued his education while working as faculty and completed his Masters in Civil Engineering in 1962. Then to now is 62 years! He had to have loved Rolla because it shows through his work and extracurriculars.
Dr. Bayless was best known for teaching CE 3330, otherwise known as Engineering Fluid Mechanics (specifically for the CArE department) or just Fluids. It is an upper level course where you learn how to manipulate the Bernoulli’s equation to solve problems dealing with water and other fluid materials. A wide range of students take this class even including petroleum engineering students. As stated in a prior article written by Joe McCune, Dr. Bayless’ favorite classes he taught were Fluid Mechanics, Reinforced Concrete Design, Structural Analysis and Slide Rule. Dr. Bayless also was the associate dean of the School of Engineering at what was then called University of Missouri-Rolla (UMR) which is a very involved position.
In the CArE department’s senior seminar, the owner and CEO of Ragsdell Investment Research, Kenneth Ragsdell, PhD, spoke to us about how he used to be taught by Dr. Bayless. He mentioned how he came back to S&T to teach in the Engineering Management Department and then retired from the department before Dr. Bayless even started thinking about retiring. He told the class how much respect he has for Dr. Bayless and how he was happy to hear Dr. Bayless would be able to enjoy his well deserved retirement.
His retirement was celebrated with a huge party in his name at the Hasselmann Alumni House where friends, family, co-workers, and students all came to commemorate Dr. Bayless’ career. The Hasselmann Alumni House was packed with people and old grade books from the 1960s.
There has been multiple articles published online about Dr. Bayless and I tried my best to summarize all of them. In December of 2004 an article explained how he received the UMR Chancellor Medal. The article goes on to honor just a few of his accomplishments and what he was doing at that time. Some of those things includes his Alumni Merit Award, being a charter member and past president of the Rolla Optimist Club, and even named an Honorary Knight of St. Patrick in 1999. Overall the Chancellor’s Medal is awarded to those who have provided for the well-being and development of Missouri S&T, and Dr. Bayless is a spot on representative.
Another article about Dr. Bayless was written by Mary Helen Stoltz in December of 2011. Mary goes on to tell readers how the 2011 Presidential Citation Award for outstanding alumni service to Missouri S&T was awarded to Dr. Bayless. This award is given out by the Alumni Alliance which is a group representing all the alumni in the University of Missouri system (UM system).
He has done much in his time spent here at S&T and we hope he enjoys his retirement thoroughly.