Remembering Tony Mitchell, Asst. Dean Emeritus

We fondly remember Tony Mitchell, Assistant Dean of Engineering (emeritus) and Associate Professor of ECE who sadly passed away on April 1, 2020.

Dr. Tony L. Mitchell, retired associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and assistant dean emeritus of the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University, passed away on April 1, 2020.

Mitchell, a long-serving member of the department’s teaching faculty, who went on to make a significant impact on the College of Engineering, was one of the inaugural ECE Hall of Fame inductees in 2015.

“During his career he made significant contributions to the College of Engineering as well as ECE,” expressed Daniel Stancil, Department Head and Alcoa Distinguished Professor of electrical and computer engineering. “On a personal level he was one of the most positive and energetic people that I have known.”

Mitchell earned a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 1987 on a USAF graduate fellowship. He is the first African American full-time student to earn that degree from NC State and his dissertation won him the 1988 USAF Research and Development Award.

Mitchell had over 45 years of professional success, including 31 years of university service. His talents earned USAF promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, university promotion to Assistant Dean of Engineering, the 2000 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, and grants of over $35,000,000.

Prior to selection to the ECE Hall of Fame, perhaps the most appropriate tribute to Dr. Mitchell’s outstanding career occurred when he was featured in 55,000 copies of the Fall 2011 NC State Engineering Magazine.

Dr. Mitchell retired from NC State in 2011 and assumed the title of Assistant Dean of Engineering, Emeritus. He continued to serve locally as chair of the NC State Lifelong Faculty Involvement Standing Committee, board member of the Association of Retired Faculty, and member of the NC Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission. National service included scholarship chair of the General H. Hugh Shelton National Leadership Center, ABET program evaluator and consultant to the National Science Foundation.

“I grew up in Robeson County, then and likely still the poorest in NC,” he mentioned in his Hall of Fame statement. “I never imagined being blessed with such a fulfilling career and life. Never stop dreaming but realize dreams are accomplished through perseverance, patience, self-confidence, some luck and most of all, faith. Things DO happen for a reason!”

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