Bob Mendenhall: Paving the Way

In 1974, the late Robert L. “Bob” Mendenhall’s recently established pavement business made history by refurbishing a one-mile stretch of interstate highway with recycled asphalt. The procedure– which Mendenhall himself produced by try out hot pavement recycling– permanently changed the market, and set Mendenhall on the course to international renown. He acquired more than 50 U.S. patents, was inducted into the Nevada Inventors Hall of Popularity, and turned his organisation, Las Vegas Paving Corp., into a market powerhouse.

At UNLV, he was known for more than his resourcefulness and business acumen– he was also a respected philanthropist. With his support, UNLV was able to develop expand facilities and programs for both academic and athletic programs.

The Mendenhall Center basketball training facility, standing in between Thomas & & Mack and Cox Structure, is a 35,000-square-foot, three-level center consists of 2 full-size basketball courts, 12 baskets, advanced locker rooms, strength and conditioning spaces, an academic room, and a media room with high-end seating. When it was finished in 2012, it became an instant showcase for recruiting athletes. The facility was moneyed through private assistance, led by the Mendenhall family.

In the Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering, the Mendenhall Innovation Program and the Mendenhall Innovation & Style Lab links the classroom-based training of undergraduates with the hardware-creation and analytical activity needed of them on the job.

” [Mendenhall] contributed in pressing hands-on, project-based experience from the senior level into the freshman level,” stated Dean Rama Venkat. “Our students think huge and construct big because of the facilities paid for to them through the Mendenhall Development and Design Program.”

Born in Canada, Mendenhall transferred to Springville, Utah, with his family when he was 8 years old. Amazed by all things mechanical, he spent much of his extra time taking makers and toys apart to see how they worked. His grandpa, G.W. Mendenhall, owned a building and construction business, and Mendenhall began working as a water young boy for the family company. and grew up constructing fences and nailing barbed wire to posts.

After the start of The second world war, he worked for his grandpa at Utah’s Tooele Ordnance Depot, a setup used to save ammo and other war supplies. He finished high school in 1947 and continued gaining knowledge of the building and construction market by working for his father, W.D. Mendenhall, at his company, Offer Mendenhall Construction Co. After that, it was on to Vernal, Utah, where he worked as both a timekeeper and on a Feline DW-10 scraper building roadways for the state.

In June 1948, he married Paula Clements and the couple relocated to Las Vegas in January 1954. In October 1958, Mendenhall developed Las Vegas Paving Corp. and ended up being a specialist in both Arizona and Nevada.

Mendenhall held numerous distinctive titles in Southern Nevada, including president of the Southern Nevada General Specialist’s Association and president of the Southern Nevada Chapter of Associated General Specialists. In 1969, he was commissioned by Nevada Gov. Paul Laxalt to serve a four-year term on the Nevada State Professional’s Board and was recommissioned to that post by Nevada Gov. Mike O’Callaghan.

In addition, “The Grandfather of Asphalt Recycling” received an honorary Doctorate of Law from UNLV in 2006, and belonged to the Palladium Diamond Society for UNLV philanthropists who have provided the university $10 million or more. He was inducted into the Nevada Service Hall of Fame by the UNLV Lee Service School in 2015 and into the inaugural class of the College of Engineering’s Academy of Engineering society for prominent educators, alumni, and industry pals in 2017.

He passed away at age 90 on June 2, 2018.

“Bob was a prolific innovator, unbelievable entrepreneur, and generous philanthropist, yet still really simple,” said Venkat. “He was a terrific role model for innovators, entrepreneurs, and especially for our UNLV engineering trainees, staff and professors. His commitment and assistance will continue, to change numerous students’ lives every year by offering them the access and chance for real hands-on knowing, designing, and producing.”

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