Al Burchett '68
2001 Award of Honor
Al Burchett, a native of Morristown, Tenn., received his B.S. degree in Industrial Education from ETSU in 1968. He began his career that same year at Western Electric in Winston-Salem, N.C., as a technical writer. He spent two years as technical liaison at Bell Laboratories in Naperville, Ill., in the early 1970s before returning to Winston-Salem. He was selected to participate in Western Electric's Summer-on-Campus program through which he earned an M.S. degree in Manufacturing Systems Engineering in 1977 from Purdue University.
During his 32-year career with Western Electric, AT&T, and Lucent Technologies, Burchett held various management assignments associated with the design and development of technical documentation for telecommunications, including establishing a sales and support team for foreign language translation and publication. In 1996, he returned to the technical ranks serving as Senior Systems Engineer supporting sales of Lucent's premier switching products to telephone companies where he made Lucent's Achiever's Club for four consecutive years.
Burchett has been generous with both his financial support and his time. He served as an ETSU Alumni Association board member from 1984 to 1992, working on various committees and as president of the association during 1990-91. He helped as a fundraising telethon chairman for central North Carolina in the 1980s and was instrumental in establishing an alumni chapter in Winston-Salem. He participated in the planning and development of the BUC Connection alumni career development program. Burchett was a vital link in creating summer internship opportunities. By hosting several ETSU interns from the College of Applied Science and Technology, he helped these young people gain experience with the company and saw several hired after graduation. Burchett was also active in establishing and participating in the Committee of 1000 scholarship program.
He is an active member of his church, Clemmons United Methodist, where he has served on many committees and the administrative board. He regularly serves as an adult counselor in a summer youth outreach camp in which teenagers travel to the Western North Carolina area to repair homes for the elderly. He is currently a member of the board of directors of the Debbie Burchett Breast Cancer Endowment Fund that benefits breast cancer patients in the Winston-Salem area. This fund was established by friends, family, and the church in honor of Burchett's wife who battled cancer. Through her illness, she was very active in reaching out to others who faced the same challenges.
Burchett is also an avid runner, having completed 23 marathons in the past six years. He recently retired and is pursuing volunteer opportunities through Habitat for Humanity and his church. He enjoys camping in his RV and hiking. Recently widowed, Burchett had been married to Deborah Marshall Burchett '69 for 31 years and has two sons, Heath and Sean.