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Remembering C. Quentin Ford, former NMSU engineering dean, professor

C. Quentin Ford, former interim dean of the College of Engineering from 1980 to 1981, died April 30 at the age of 92. His memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 18, at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage, Museum 4100 Dripping Springs Road, Las Cruces.

Ford came to New Mexico State University in 1946 to obtain his Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering. He had previously received a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y., in 1944.

He served in the U.S. Navy before coming to NMSU, and after graduating he attended the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1950 and then Michigan State University in 1959 where he received master’s and doctoral degrees respectively. He served on the faculties at both institutions.

Returning to NMSU after completing his doctorate, Ford served as head of the Mechanical Engineering Department from 1959 until 1971, becoming the first head in the department’s history to hold a Ph.D. He served as associate dean of the College of Engineering from 1974 to 1980, then from 1981 to 1988, when he retired.

Ford married Ruth McKinney of the class of 1950 at NMSU. They lived for a time in Pullman, Wash., where their children, Glenn and Dabney, both NMSU graduates in the Class of 1976, were born.

Following his retirement, the College of Engineering established the C.Q. Ford Endowed Scholarship, to be given each year to a sophomore, junior or senior New Mexico-resident student at NMSU with a GPA of at least 3.5.

In 2006, Geothermal Drive Underpass, at the southeast corner of the Aggie football stadium, was renamed Dr. C. Quentin Ford Underpass.

“Geothermal Drive Underpass was originally constructed as a result of Dr. C. Ford serving with the State Transportation Commission,” the New Mexico Department of Transportation wrote in its 2009 State Transportation Commission report. “He was a strong advocate for cities to have interstate routes through or passing through their limits. Dr. Ford envisioned a strong frontage road system to keep local traffic off the interstate routes. The development and construction of the Geothermal Drive Underpass was the result of Dr. Ford’s strong desire in planning for an effective and useful frontage road system along I-25.”

Ford is survived by his wife and children.