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James T. Hopper Sr. '68 | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

James “Jim” Hopper, a former student in the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution at Texas A&M University, has been honored with an Outstanding Alumni Award from the College of Engineering.

“Hopper is a model Aggie engineering graduate,” said Dr. Reza Langari, J.R. Thompson Department Head Chair and professor, in his nomination letter. “His entrepreneurship, hands-on technical ability, support for education and selfless service makes him the embodiment of Texas A&M ideals and a fitting candidate for this honor.”

Graduating with his Bachelor of Science in engineering technology in 1968, Hopper walked across the stage and into the army, where he served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, before entering industry. His dreams of becoming an entrepreneur were realized in 1972 when he founded Megahertz Technologies, Inc — a leader in the development of wireless communication services to the public and private sectors in the Dallas area.

“Hopper’s firm presently offers first responders, commercial freight operators and many others with push-to-talk, wireless radio connectivity,” said Langari. “These services are critical to the operation of these entities, particularly when and where cellular connectivity may not be available or reliable.”

In addition to his successful career, Hopper is passionate about education and going back to his roots to support the next generation of engineers and industry leaders. His various gifts to scholarship programs and capstone projects, including his recent gift of $500,000 to the capstone development fund for the electronics program in the department, empower students to focus their efforts on the betterment of themselves and their community.

“Hopper spends time here at Texas A&M throughout the year talking to students and doing guest lectures across a number of different courses in the curriculum,” said Dr. Joseph Morgan, professor emeritus and program coordinator for the Multidisciplinary Engineering Technology program. “He has become an outspoken advocate of the department and has been actively involved in all aspects of the program. He has distinguished himself as an entrepreneur and technology leader in wireless communications. He has been an inspiration and mentor to numerous students. He takes time to meet and interact with faculty and finds ways to help them be more successful in their academic, scholarship and service activities.”

Likewise, his invaluable mentorship to senior capstone groups and involvement with the external advisory council for the department has bridged the gap between the classroom and real world.

“Many alumni want to leave a legacy of their contribution. Jim’s service to the Texas A&M community and the department will extend far into the future. His continued efforts represent the characteristics of an outstanding alumni,” said Kelly Bell, an external advisory council member and president of M3 Distribution, Inc.