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My Golden Memories: Bill Close Jr.

'ASU provided a well-rounded education I could build on'

Bill Close Jr. (kneeling, center, with beard) was part of a class of student architects who created a plan for the dry riverbed of the Salt River, which resulted eventually in the creation of Tempe Town Lake. He is a member of the Class of 1967 who will be returning for the class's Golden Reunion celebration on May 8 and 9.

May 03, 2017

Editor’s note: This story is one of a series of reflections — in their own words — from members of ASU’s Class of 1967, who will return to the university on May 8–9 for their Golden Reunion, a two-day event hosted by the ASU Alumni Association. Learn more about what’s happening at Golden Reunion hereRead more stories here.

When I was a student at ASU, I pledged the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, and belonged to the student chapter of the American Institute of Architects. I was also a member of the Rio Salado design class that created a plan for the dry riverbed of the Salt River, which resulted eventually in what is now known as Tempe Town Lake. When I was on campus, though, a lot of my time was taken up by ASU football. I worked as a ticket taker for ASU football, and I was also a spotter for my father, Bill Close Sr., when he announced Sun Devil football games. I enjoyed ASU’s baseball teams when I was student, too, skipping class to watch them become national champions!

I met my future wife at ASU, and she helped me finish my thesis project. One of our nieces graduated from ASU as well.

I’ve come to appreciate the well-rounded education that ASU provided for us, one that’s been very applicable to my architectural practice. As a registered architect, one of my first projects was the design of Packard Stadium, which served ASU’s baseball teams for nearly 40 years. I’ve worked for various architectural firms, as well as for the University of California-San Diego and the Salt River Project here in the Valley of the Sun.

At the upcoming Golden Reunion, I’m most looking forward to sharing my memories from my time at ASU, and hearing what my classmates have done with their lives.

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