William C. “Bill” Bailey Jr., who journeyed from his boyhood home in Ashville, AL, to the United States Air Force to Louisiana Tech to his current position as CEO of Radiance Technologies, will become the University’s newest Tower Medallion recipient and be inducted by the Louisiana Tech Alumni Association into Tech’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni during Spring Commencement 2023 Saturday, May 20, in Thomas Assembly Center on campus.
The Tower Medallion Award signifies membership in the Hall and is awarded to Tech alumni who have distinguished themselves by exceptional achievement, community service, and humanitarian activities.
Bailey, who graduated from Tech in March of 1987 with a BS in Electrical Engineering, joined Radiance Technologies in 2001, then a start-up defense contractor, which has now grown into the No. 1 small business provider for non-medical research and development services for the Department of Defense and one of the largest mid-cap companies in the industry.
Bailey married his high school sweetheart and enlisted in the Air Force in the summer of 1979. His first assignment was at Barksdale AFB as a B-52G crew chief. He immediately began taking classes at Tech Barksdale with the goal of attaining a degree. At the end of his first enlistment, the Air Force transferred Bailey to Tech on a full scholarship to allow him to finish his studies full-time. After graduation, he was commissioned in the USAF as a Research and Development (R&D) engineer.
After graduation, Bill was assigned to the Foreign Technology Division (currently the National Air & Space Intelligence Center) at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio. His job was assessing the capabilities and vulnerabilities of foreign weapon systems and technologies. In this role, he published numerous national intelligence technology studies, supported the renegotiation of an international arms treaty, and led national intelligence community efforts to determine the capabilities of a new Russian weapon system. His next assignment was to the Phillips Lab (currently AF Research Labs) in Albuquerque, NM, where he supported R&D efforts determining the vulnerability of materials, technologies, and weapon systems to high-energy lasers.
In 1992 when the Air Force was downsizing in response to the end of the Cold War, Bailey and his family decided to leave the Air Force and return to Alabama. In corporate America, he has worked for commercial and defense companies holding positions from project engineer to chief executive officer, until he began working with Radiance Technologies.
As CEO, he has provided the vision that has propelled Radiance to be the number one small business provider for non-medical R&D services for the Defense Department, and Radiance is currently one of the largest mid-cap companies in the industry. His vision has been simple – be the kind of company that you would want to work for and do business with.
Bailey and his family have a strong desire to “give back.” Believing that they must support the institutions that have made a difference in their lives, the Baileys have provided consistent and long-term support to Tech’s academic, innovation, and athletic missions. The family’s passion is to help abused and underprivileged children by supporting foster care agencies, national and local child advocacy centers, and missions supporting incarcerated youth.
Bailey and his wife, Sharon, currently live in Alabama and have seven children (Bill III, Amy, Michael, Robbie, Julian, Mcayla, and Gabriel). They have three grandchildren, Isabella, Bill IV, and Rebekah.