I am thrilled to report that our philanthropic campaign to increase our support and engagement with Colorado’s aerospace sector has surpassed its goal and enabled us to establish three new endowed leadership chairs in electrical, computer and energy engineering, mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering sciences.
While this campaign continues through the end of the calendar year, the overwhelming success of this effort means that we have fully met our fiscal obligations towards construction of the new Aerospace Engineering Sciences building. In doing so, we are the first academic unit in University of Colorado Boulder history to surpass a building campaign goal. Achieving this milestone would not have been possible without the seamless collaboration of Advancement personnel with faculty and staff from across our college.
The building itself is a remarkable testament to our team efforts. In addition, through a unique partnership with campus, we were able to largely focus our fundraising energy on raising endowment dollars for the people that make our college the special place that it is. These funds benefited the Departments of Aerospace Engineering Sciences, Computer Science, Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering – each of which contribute to making Colorado the number one state for private sector aerospace employment and the University of Colorado, the number one public university for NASA funding.
If you attended the grand opening of the Aerospace Engineering Sciences building, you heard me announce our new leadership chairs. Endowed chairs are an important investment in our faculty and students. They enable us to recruit and retain exceptional faculty who are national leaders in their fields — and support the students and programs around them. In this particular case, endowed leadership chairs were created to augment the operations budgets of three CEAS departments.
We are grateful to the people whose generosity made these chairs possible.
You may know Chuck Palmer (ElEngr’76, MS’88). He has been a longtime supporter of the college and in 2016, set up two endowed chairs currently held by Lucy Pao in Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering and Kurt Maute in Ann and H.J. Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences. His latest gift established the Palmer Leadership Chair in Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering. Interim department chair Bob Erickson will be the inaugural chairholder.
The Leadership Endowed Chair in Mechanical Engineering was made possible through gifts from Steve Woodward (MechEngr’80) and Herb Vogel (MechEngr’82). Both are founding and current members of the Mechanical Engineering Strategic Advisory Board. Woodward and his family have supported the college for many years through endowments, and Vogel is a longtime contributor to the college through fellowships. The inaugural holder of the chair that they made possible is mechanical engineering department chair Mike Hannigan.
Richard Schaden and his wife, Akiko, created the Schaden Leadership Chair in Aerospace Engineering Sciences. Richard is an aeronautical engineer, pilot and international aviation and public-interest trial attorney. He has been a long-time friend and supporter of Smead Aerospace and our college. He presently serves on the Aerospace Engineering Sciences Advisory Board and is co-developing a new course in trial law with CEAS Professor Michael Readey and Wolf Law School faculty member Valeri Pappas. The inaugural holder of the Schaden Leadership Chair in Aerospace Engineering Sciences is department chair Brian Argrow.
These endowed chairs also underscore the fundamental importance of department leadership in our college. I am pleased to recognize some of our exceptional faculty leaders in this way and to celebrate the distinction this brings to CEAS. These chairs represent the breadth of impact this campaign had not only for our aerospace engineering sciences programs, but for other departments as well.
Please join me in thanking our esteemed college partners and congratulating the three CEAS faculty leaders holding these newly endowed chairs.
Bobby Braun is Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science at CU Boulder.