An engineering faculty colleague of Ilgen recently had this to say about him, "Bill took the time to build lasting relationships with his students and motivated them to reach for their dreams."
He did this as a teacher and as dean, and he continues to do it through his endowed scholarship, which provides awards that help engineering students realize their dreams.
Its hard for some to imagine that previous to his 25 years in the School of Engineering Bill Ilgen was a jet fighter pilot. When he was "on duty" at GU, first as a faculty member and then as dean of the School of Engineering, he was professional, dedicated, and an outstanding teacher and leader.Ilgen hasn't flown a plane since his Navy days, when he was stationed on a carrier. "After you fly a fighter jet, everything else is just too boring," Ilgen said. Gonzaga is fortunate that he decided to stay grounded, and that he dedicated so many years to the University. During his tenure as dean, the civil, electrical and mechanical engineering programs all were accredited, and the engineering building was extensively renovated and expanded to become the Herak Engineering Center. No wonder Ilgen has been called the "second founder" of the School of Engineering.
When BillIlgen retired in 1993, he was named Professor Emeritus. He and his wife Mary continue to live in Spokane and remain active in the Gonzaga Community and in their local parish.Chances are, if Bill is not cruising on the high seas, you can find Ilgen on the links.