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2016 Distinguished Alumni

B.A. Philosophy ’74, B.S. Math, '75

B.A. Philosophy ’74, B.S. Math ’75 Michael Rydin graduated from OSU in 1974 with a B.A. in Philosophy & again in 1975 with a B.S. in Math. Mike started his career as a software developer in Tulsa & then later in Houston. In 1981 he wrote the estimating software for a construction company where he worked & in 1985, when it was apparent they were going out of business, he rewrote it in the evenings for the PC.


When he was laid off in 1986 he started Heavy Construction Systems Specialists, Inc. (HCSS) from the master bedroom of his house selling construction estimating software. Having no business background, Mike attributes his ability to understand & solve business issues in large part to his OSU philosophy background & critical thinking with particular thanks to Dr. Robert Radford.


Mike’s wife, Sophie, joined him in the business 5 years later & together they built HCSS into the market leader in their industry. Today, HCSS has 200 employees, has been a Best Place to Work in Texas 9 years in a row, & was recognized by the Wall Street Journal in 2009 as one of the Top 15 Small Workplaces in America.

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