• Gene Rahll, Class of 1946

    Gene Rahll has been involved with machines throughout his life. This connection began in Gene’s childhood on a dairy farm in Oxford and followed him to careers as a car dealer and as a developer of agricultural machinery for the company now known as Ford New Holland.

    Entering the business world for himself, it was natural for Mr. Rahll to open an equipment rental store in Maryland, where homeowners could find an array of power tools so useful for those weekend projects. The machinery connection followed Mr. Rahll to Amarillo, Texas, where after his move there in the 1980s he once again entered the equipment rental business.

    In 1989 Mr. Rahll was elected mayor of Dalhart, a suburb of Amarillo with about 7,000 residents, and it did not take long for him to notice that the organizations that were the pieces of the machinery of government were not operating in synch. With his strong belief in the philosophy that “You don’t get anything done by yourself,” Mr. Rahll soon got leaders of the city, the county, the police, hospitals, schools, and other groups talking and working together. Before long Dalhart had an improved downtown shopping area, renovated parks and recreational areas, an enhanced airport, and a scholarship fund for local students.

    Mr. Rahll left the mayor’s office after 16 years to great praise. The Panhandle Regional Planning Commission gave him its Regional Service Award as he stepped down in 2005, citing his energy, foresight and skill at bringing people together to work for the common good.

    —John Bradley