Distinguished Alumnus
Class of 2018

John Douglas (Doug) Mullikin

AHS Class of 1958

Doug Mullikin considers his achievements in life to be the result of dedicated Arcola teachers and many positive influences he experienced while growing up in Arcola. John Douglas Mullikin was born in Arcola April 18, 1940, the son of Mason Richard and Elizabeth Watson Cox Mullikin. Doug began school in Arcola, completed the next three grades in Arthur and then returned to Arcola in fourth grade.

At Arcola High School, Doug was a member of Industrial Arts, Camera, Spanish, Lettermen’s and Pep Clubs, as well as the Torch staff at AHS. He also sang with the chorus and participated in class plays his junior and senior years. In Arcola sports, he played end on Coach Lou Baker’s undefeated 1957 football team. Doug was also a key member of Coach Baker’s ’57-’58 basketball team that posted the most wins in Arcola boys’ history in their 27-3 season. The Purple Riders won the Arcola regional by defeating state-ranked Mattoon. In the Decatur sectional, Doug scored two crucial baskets and six points late in the game to secure a win against powerful Shelbyville. Arcola then upset Decatur Eisenhower to win the sectional championship and reach the Sweet Sixteen in Illinois’ one-class tournament for the first time in Arcola history.

Following his 1958 high school graduation, Doug enrolled in Bradley University in Peoria, where he belonged to Air Force ROTC and served as member and house manager of Theta Chi fraternity. He and his high school sweetheart, Georgia Herrington, were married in the Arcola Presbyterian Church June 11, 1961. Georgia continued her secretarial work to provide financial support as Doug completed graduate and post graduate studies in Civil and Structural Engineering. Doug furthered his education at the University of Illinois in 1963 and then began work as a Research Engineer with Armco Steel Corporation in Middletown, OH, where he developed and test verified a theoretical procedure to triple the load carrying capacity of concrete columns. He attended night school classes to complete his U of I master’s degree in Structural Engineering in 1964. While in Ohio, the Mullikins’ son Eric was born in 1963 and daughter Carey in 1964.

The Mullikins relocated to St. Peters, MO, in 1965 as Doug began work on the Gemini Space Program as Associate Strength Engineer at McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Corp. Over the next twenty years he advanced to Senior Strength Engineer on “winged” aircraft design programs, including DC-10 commercial planes, F-4 Phantom, Air Force F-15 fighters and Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters.

While at McDonnell Douglas, Doug became acquainted with a practical quality control process, called Design for Manufacturing & Assembly (DFMA). In this process, products are designed to contain as few parts as possible for ease of assembly and reduction of costly manufacturing defects. He then led a “multi-disciplined team” to improve design-to-build communications and quality. Doug was promoted to Department Manager and oversaw the sizeable merger of the Structural Design and the Strength Departments involving over 200 engineers, thus improving the working relations between the two. Concurrently, he was assigned St. Louis Program Manager for the redesign of a major sub-assembly of the Air Force C-17 heavy-equipment transport plane. This redesign, using the DFMA process, reduced the final assembly parts from 72 to 2 and fasteners from 1720 to 35, with a 94% total parts reduction – all resulting in a huge reduction in defects and rework on assembly. It played a significant role in Boeing (formerly McDonnell Douglas) being awarded the 1998 Malcolm Baldridge Award for Quality Control of Airlift and Tanker Program.

In his later years at McDonnell Douglas, Doug taught young engineers in evening classes. He helped them understand the importance of the basics of structural design and analysis to prepare them to utilize the current corporate-wide Computer Aided Design (CAD) systems.

Following his 1995 Boeing retirement, Doug was able to devote more time to his interest in the stock market. He and his close friend, David Ellis, became Registered Investment Advisors and then created Perception Investment Technique, Inc., a small investment company, which provided a successful average annual return of 10.76% to their clientele over a 20+ year period.

Mullikin is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and a Registered Professional Engineer in the state of Ohio. He was a team leader in the Bonhomme “Old Stone Church” restoration project at Chesterfield, MO, and is a former associate producer, director and board president who actively participated in shows at the River Bend Community Repertory Company (RBRC).

The Mullikins were significant organizational and financial contributors to the Arcola 1:1 Digital Learning project.

Doug fully retired in 2010, allowing more time for reading history, golf, swimming and market analysis. He is an amateur bridge and poker enthusiast, who also taught himself to play piano “by ear” in his retirement. The Mullikins have lived in their Chesterfield, Missouri home since 1970 and greatly enjoy time with their community friends, their children and two grandchildren.

Questions/Comments to
Last Revision September 27, 2018