William ‘Larry’ Bridges ’75
Department of Computer Science
Outstanding Alumni Award
Appalachian State University’s College of Arts and Sciences
“Having Professor Bridges as an instructor was a wonderful and eye-opening experience. From his course, I learned the importance of being a thorough and ethical programmer.”
Courtney Dixon ’19, a graduate student in Appalachian’s computer science program
BOONE, N.C. — The College of Arts and Sciences at Appalachian State University has named William “Larry” Bridges ’75 as the 2018–19 Outstanding Alumni Award winner. Bridges is a visiting faculty lecturer in the college’s Department of Computer Science.
Prior to coming to Appalachian, Bridges spent 39 years with Hanesbrands/Sara Lee Corp. in multiple information technology leadership roles, including 10 years as chief information security officer and chief enterprise architect. He led Hanesbrands’ entry into e-commerce, building the infrastructure and applications to support the business’ realization of $100 million in sales.
“Having Professor Bridges as an instructor was a wonderful and eye-opening experience. From his course, I learned the importance of being a thorough and ethical programmer,” said Courtney Dixon ’19, a graduate student in Appalachian’s computer science program from Charlotte.
“Professor Bridges’ experiences outside of academia were a great help to my understanding of how computer science is used outside of the classroom and the many applications and pathways this field of study offers,” she added.
Bridges has served as a visiting lecturer in the Department of Computer Science since 2016, teaching cybersecurity fundamentals. In the 2018–19 academic year, Bridges and Jim Webb, chief security officer and deputy chief information officer at Appalachian, were awarded a grant through the Chancellor’s Innovation Scholars Program to establish a student cybersecurity operations center.
Bridges is a founding member of and an active participant on the Computer Science Industry Advisory Board. He has also been chairperson of and a volunteer for the Stokes County Special Olympics Board (1988–2018), and he is a dedicated member of the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church (1965–present).
His nomination for the Outstanding Alumni Award mentioned a 2015 meeting of the Computer Science Industry Advisory Board, when Bridges heard that the computer science department desired to increase course offerings in the area of cybersecurity. He offered to create and teach a course.
“Larry’s willingness to help the department was a great service and very valuable. He brought to the course more than 39 years of experience, which was simply priceless,” said one of his nominating colleagues.
Another of Bridges’ nominators said, “Bridges has always provided great advice on how we could improve our curriculum and better prepare our students for the job market or graduate school.”
Bridges earned a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Appalachian in 1975 and a Master of Science in mathematics and computer science from Clemson University in 1977. He has also completed additional, non-degree seeking coursework, including economics from High Point University; managerial accounting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro; and a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification through ISC2, an international cybersecurity certification organization, of which he is a member.
To read more about the College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Alumni Award, visit https://cas.appstate.edu/alumni/outstanding-cas-alumni.
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About the Department of Computer Science
Appalachian’s Department of Computer Science provides a rigorous, high-quality education that prepares students for the computing industry or graduate education. It offers a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science, which is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, and a Master of Science degree in computer science. Learn more at https://compsci.appstate.edu.
About the College of Arts and Sciences
The College of Arts and Sciences is home to 16 academic departments, one stand-alone academic program, two centers and one residential college. These units span the humanities and the social, mathematical and natural sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences aims to develop a distinctive identity built upon our university's strengths, traditions and unique location. The college’s values lie not only in service to the university and local community, but through inspiring, training, educating and sustaining the development of its students as global citizens. There are approximately 6,100 student majors in the college. As the college is also largely responsible for implementing Appalachian's general education curriculum, it is heavily involved in the education of all students at the university, including those pursuing majors in other colleges. Learn more at https://cas.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.