Alvin Tollestrup began his particle physics career as a graduate student in 1946 at Caltech and remained there as a professor and experimental physicist for 25 years. In 1975 he arrived at Fermilab on sabbatical, intending to stay only six months. He began working on superconducting accelerator technology and his short stay became a 30-year career at the Laboratory. During these years Tollestrup played a significant role in the development of the Tevatron as the world’s leading high-energy physics accelerator. His early work at Fermilab led to the trailblazing design, testing and commissioning of 1,000 superconducting magnets into the Energy Doubler/Saver, the first large-scale application of superconductivity. For this achievement he was awarded the National Medal of Technology in 1989. As founding co-spokesman of the CDF collaboration, Tollestrup also played a key role in the creation of Fermilab’s colliding beams program searching for and leading to the 1995 discovery of the top quark.