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Loyal Pridgen ('89)

Alumnus Loyal Pridgen

Loyal Pridgen
Principal Architect, Enterprise IT at Estes Express Lines
Class of ’89

As principal architect for Estes, I lead the effort to provide system-wide thinking to current and future state technology architecture to enhance Estes’ ability to compete and grow. After a decade working on large-scale systems at IBM and CSC, I spent 20 years in varied IT consulting roles before joining Estes. Along the way, I started three technology companies including one that we sold after seven years. I love finding ways that business challenges and technology intersect, creating opportunities for advanced solutions and improved customer experience. I have lived in Richmond for most of my life with my wife and two college-aged kids. Outside of work, I spend my time biking, boating, travelling, and spending time with my family.

How did the department equip you for the ‘real world’...

The Virginia Tech Computer Science core curriculum, which focused on logic and programming fundamentals, exposed me to a broad array of technologies and problem-solving approaches which have helped me adapt as the industry has evolved. The Virginia Tech co-op program also provided real-world experience, enhancing my value to potential employers before I was even done with school.

Being a Virginia Tech alumnus means...

Having pride in my university and community. Also, in the way the university prepared me for life and a career in software.

My fondest memories from my time in the department are...

I enjoyed working in the computer science lab. I also fondly remember playing racquetball with Dr. Balci and several classmates (even though he usually won). He certainly showed the value of applied knowledge.

Qualities of a good leader/manager in tech are…

An active and supportive listener who enables their team’s success by encouraging them to continually stretch their knowledge, skills, and capabilities.

My favorite activity to come back to campus for is...

As a season ticket holder for VT men’s basketball, I am back to Blacksburg quite regularly.  I enjoy occasionally making a weekend of it to walk down memory lane and enjoy the campus vibe - there is nothing like a rockin’ Cassell Coliseum. Go Hokies!