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Utah Business Leader Dr. Bill Pope Dies at 88

11.30.2010

Utah Business Leader Dr. Bill Pope Dies at 88

OREM, Utah--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dr. Bill Jordan Pope, one of Utah’s most notable inventors and entrepreneurs, passed away peacefully at his home in Springville, UT, Tuesday afternoon from natural causes.

Dr. Pope is recognized for his pioneering contributions in the development of synthetic diamond manufacturing for multiple industries from oil and gas drilling to diamond-coated hip joints. As a renowned scientist who helped found three Utah companies, Dr. Pope’s work has led to hundreds of high-tech jobs throughout the region. In 2002, Dr. Pope was awarded the Utah Governor’s Silver Medal Award for science and technology. As a chemical engineering professor and business mentor at Brigham Young University for 20 years, Dr. Pope has inspired hundreds of aspiring business leaders.

Dr. Pope was extremely active in business development and civic affairs—serving in numerous leadership positions that saw him receive awards and honors including: Utah Valley University’s Excellence in Ethics Award, the Freedom Festival’s Pioneer of Progress Award, and the Utah Valley Entrepreneurial Forum’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award. In his business career, Dr. Pope served as President of MegaDiamond, US Synthetic, and Dimicron.

“As one of the founding fathers of US Synthetic, Bill Pope had a profound influence on the people around him, the business, science and entire HPHT diamond industry,” said Rob Galloway, president and CEO of US Synthetic. “We owe Bill a great debt of gratitude for his fortitude and unquenchable enthusiasm and support for our continued success.”

Dr. Pope will also be known for generations to come for his philanthropic generosity to both BYU and UVU, where the Science Building is named in his honor and perpetual scholarships at both universities have been established. The Center for Humanitarian Outreach and Intercultural Exchange twice honored Dr. Pope with the Helping Hands Award. And the Provo and Orem Chamber of Commerce recognized Dr. Pope with the Arthur Watkins Award for Businessman of the Year. Dr. Pope has served in numerous volunteer positions in his community and church including bishop, stake president, and regional representative.

“Bill’s accomplishments in the synthetic diamond industry are legendary,” said Terry Kane, executive director, Industrial Diamond Association of America. “There are many that have admired and will continue to admire his tremendous work and great innovations for generations to come. He will be greatly missed.”

Dr. Pope received engineering degrees from the University of Utah and a PhD from the University of Washington. Dr. Pope received an honorary Doctorate Degree in Business from Utah Valley University. The alumni at BYU also honored Dr. Pope with Emeriti Award for his contributions to the community.

A video tribute to his life’s accomplishments is available on YouTube: Link

Dr. Pope is lovingly remembered by his wife Margaret McConkie Pope, his son Louis and wife Chriss, his daughter Leslie and husband Alan Layton, his daughter Kathryn and husband David Paxman, and his daughter Patrice and husband Wayne Tew. His 28 Grandchildren recall how “Grandpa always had some little gadget in his pocket to educate and entertain us.”

Press Contact:
For US Synthetic
John Pilmer
jpilmer@pilmerpr.com

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