After spending 20 years in the Air Force, Lt. Col. Todd Waldvogel wanted to keep serving his country while continuing to use his engineering and leadership skills to support a different mission. As the university’s new associate vice chancellor for facilities, he found that chance.
Waldvogel, who graduated high school in the Woodlands, earned his undergraduate degree in civil engineering at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He worked through the ranks to become a lieutenant colonel, eventually retiring as a Deputy Mission Support Group Commander.
Brian Gutierrez, vice chancellor for finance and administration, said the university conducted a national search for someone who knew how to run complex and quality facilities. Waldvogel understands how to run a campus from a facilities standpoint and appreciates what it takes to maintain the classroom after teaching at the Air Force Academy, Gutierrez said.
Before coming to the university, Waldvogel worked at Scott Air Force Base in St. Claire County, Ill., Gutierrez said. There, Waldvogel brought together his entire skill set to keep the base running and meet the high expectations of the Air Force.
“That really spoke volumes to us about somebody who could step into this situation where the expectations are very high, the facilities are very well maintained, they’re very well constructed,” Gutierrez said.
Todd said the university’s friendly, close-knit community made Fort Worth a great destination after coming from a tight-knit community in the Air Force.
“It’s so accommodating and welcoming,” he said. “It’s just a very comfortable place for my family and I to get settled in.”
Angela Waldvogel, Todd’s wife, said the warm reception made the Waldvogels even more excited to be in Fort Worth. The job also moved them closer to their families.
Waldvogel moved from Illinois with his wife and two kids, ages six and three. It was hard to juggle the new job and moving, but the family is thrilled, Angela said.
Angela is looking forward to spending the end of summer with her kids and enjoying Fort Worth with the family.
Waldvogel will spend plenty of time at the university this year. Construction will continue on new residence halls by the Greek and a new parking lot on the east side of campus should open soon, Waldvogel said. There are also plans for additions to Mary Couts Burnett Library and the Annie Richardson Bass Building in the form of an intellectual commons.
“It’s like flying an airplane but we’re adding onto it as we fly it,” he said. “We’re going to change the propeller aircraft into a jet as we’re flying it.”
After 20 years of service, leaving the Air Force was not an easy choice, Waldvogel said. They made a strategic decision to move on from the service.
"It [the Air Force] was an absolute wonderful time,” Waldvogel said. “I have the best of friends still in service and huge, huge supporter of my Air Force and what they have done, what they do and what they will do. Hated to leave it, but at the same time just so blessed to be here, to be a part of this because this is exciting for us."