About W.C. Lacy
Willard C. "Bill" Lacy was born in 1916 to parents home on furlough from their posting as educational missionaries in China.
Lacy received an undergraduate degree in chemistry from DePauw University and an MS from the University of Illinois, where he met his wife, Jo. When his PhD program at Harvard was interrupted by World War II, he took a job with Titanium Alloy Manufacturing Co. to help seek materials critical to the war effort and then enlisted in the U.S. Navy. After finishing his degree, he went to work for Cerro de Pasco Copper Co. in Peru. He rose to the position of chief geologist in 1953.
Lacy returned to the U.S. in 1955 and was appointed full professor of geology at the University of Arizona. When John Forrester became dean of the College of Mines in 1956, Lacy was asked to establish and head the combined Department of Mining and Geological Engineering.
Lacy defined requirements for undergraduate programs in mining engineering and geological engineering, had the programs accredited by the Engineers' Council for Professional Development, and recruited students. He also established MS and PhD programs in both disciplines and prioritized hiring top professors, including John Abel, Bill Peters and John Sumner.
Students characterized Bill Lacy's teaching technique as challenging them with unsolvable problems while providing a framework for analysis – always with a focus on understanding the big picture of mining.
The UA Department of Mining and Geological Engineering is pleased to further his philosophy and carry out his legacy with the annual Lacy Lecture Series.