It was a high school teacher in Georgia who prompted Wayne Waldon to consider a career in science. More than 40 years after that conversation, Waldon retired from the Mechanical Department of CDF operations at Fermilab on Oct. 7.
“My high school teacher junior and senior year said I should go further in physics,” Waldon said.
He took his teacher’s advice and studied physics at Clark College in Atlanta. It was there he first heard about Fermilab from a recruiter visiting colleges.
In 1972, he came to the laboratory to work for the summer. He liked what he saw and forged some friendships and connections in the community. The next year, he became a permanent employee. Wilson Hall was not yet completed and the personnel offices were still located in a farmhouse.
“That first year I thought I would freeze to death,” said Waldon, who, after 38 years at Fermilab, still has a hint of a southern accent.
He worked on a variety of projects over nearly four decades, and most recently worked in the Mechanical Department of CDF operations handling the electrical and electronic controls for the process systems.