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Achieving with God's Guidance: Dale Hill



Dale Hill remembers the first time he saw the LeTourneau campus. It was 1965, and the campus was covered with old, whitewashed army barracks with connecting walkways and ramps from its days as the old Harmon General Hospital. The only brick buildings on campus were Tyler Hall, the old Science Building and the Library.

Hill had driven from West Virginia up to New Jersey to pick up a friend that he met working that summer in upstate New York working at a Word of Life Christian camp, and then the two of them made the long trek to Longview, Texas.

“We pulled up on campus...looked at each other and dug in our pockets,” Hill said. “We didn’t have enough money to go home, and so we stayed.”

Those two young men that day, Dale Hill and Joe Nowiczewski, along with Stan Settles, Jeffrey and Jenelle Piepmeier and several others, were inducted into LETU’s new Academy of Engineering and Engineering Technology (AEET) this past April 5.

Hill remembers LeTourneau University founder R.G. LeTourneau, whom many of the students referred to as “Pop.”

“I was fortunate enough to be here when Pop LeTourneau was alive,” Hill said. “He died two weeks before I graduated. I attended his two-and-a-half-hour funeral.

“I left here with the statement fresh on my mind that Pop made that anything the mind can conceive, man can achieve with God’s guidance and help,” Hill said. “I started out knowing there wasn’t anything I couldn’t do. As a result, God has made me steward of many opportunities throughout life.”

Hill earned his bachelor’s degree in welding engineering from LeTourneau College in 1969. A career entrepreneur, Hill is a pioneer in clean transit solutions, founding Proterra in 2004 to build the world’s best battery electric bus and charging system. Proterra won the 2018 Clean Tech award for the United States and Top 100 in the world.

“It all started here, seeing the big equipment with electric motors,” Hill said.

During his career, Hill has learned to make sure he was following God and not asking God to bless a decision he had made after the fact.

“I’ve had companies that we started, that when God was involved, it seemed like there was nothing we could do that didn’t turn out,” Hill said. “On the other hand, if I got into something trying to take what I had accumulated in knowledge, no matter how much I did right, nothing ever worked.

“My advice to young, aspiring engineers is never be afraid to tackle anything that God shares with you, but you better dog-gone listen to God and spend time on your knees every morning asking him how to get you through that day,” he said.

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