RGDC Inc. is loaning the University of Oklahoma expertise of
its partners as the Oklahoma City
architectural-engineering-planning firm helps a new generation of
architectural, engineering and environmental science students
prepare for the challenges of the business world after
Don Douglas, president and chief executive officer of RGDC,
earned his bachelor's degree in civil engineering from OU in
1959. Today, he serves on OU's School of Civil Engineering and
Environmental Science Visiting Council.
Richard D. Gravlin, vice president of RGDC and a 1958 graduate
of OU, also assists OU's School of Civil Engineering and
Environmental Science (CEES) on special projects.
Bob Cornell, secretary-treasurer of RGDC and a 1963 graduate
of OU's College of Architecture, serves on the OU College of
Architecture Board of Visitors.
All three men say they donate time because they want to see OU
graduates better prepared for the wide breadth of challenges that
fact today's architects, engineers and environmental scientists.
Civil engineering was a natural choice for Douglas after
growing up under the tutelage of his father, Garner Douglas, a
man with a background in mechanical engineering and the owner of
"I grew up punching presses and sweeping and cleaning our
shop," Douglas said, "but I always liked to draw and to build
things and I ended up in civil engineering. I believe that civil
engineers are a unique breed and the greatest attribute that they
can possess is plenty of common sense. They also need to be
creative and they have to enjoy a variety of work because they
never know exactly what they are going to be doing from one day
to the next."
Douglas has served as the city engineer for the City of Yukon,
as principal-in-charge for engineering for the City of Nichols
Hills, for RGDC's functions as engineer for the Oklahoma City
Water Utilities Trust and for planning and engineering projects
related to the North Canadian River redevelopment projects. He
has also worked closely with the Norman Municipal Authority and
Yukon Municipal Authority on financial planning and assessment of
their cities' needs.
Ronald L. Sack, director of OU's School of Civil Engineering
and Environmental Science, said that Douglas' OU duties include
acting as an alumni liaison and arranging alliances with fellow
engineers, as well as fund-raising for such items as student
scholarships and faculty enhancements.
"RGDC Inc. was very active at OU this past spring," Sack said.
"Two RGDC partners, Douglas and Gravlin, recently assisted our
environmental science students by teaching a Capstone Design
Course _ a program that we consider a gateway course for our
seniors. RGDC not only defined the project with a design
challenge, but actually listened to and critiqued reports of
approximately a dozen students.
"These types of projects are very beneficial, because they not
only create alliances within the industry and promote ethics and
team building, but also because they define realistic problems
for our students to solve. …