Originally Published: April 10, 2015 10:04 p.m.
PRESCOTT - This fall semester, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University will have its first-ever endowed distinguished professorship, a gift from Raisbeck Engineering and its foundation.
The distinguished professorship, located on Embry-Riddle's Prescott, Arizona, campus, is named the Raisbeck Engineering Design/Build/Test Endowed Distinguished Chair.
An endowed distinguished professorship is an appointed position supported by significant funding. In this case, the $1 million donation given by James David Raisbeck - a notable American aeronautical engineer and owner of Raisbeck Engineering - will provide funds to support the hiring of a full-time distinguished professor of engineering, a first for the university.
The endowment will also help fund the construction of the new Embry-Riddle STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) building, which begins this summer. This is in addition to the $100,000 Raisbeck has already donated to establish the Raisbeck Aero Design Studio, which will reside in the STEM building.
ERAU Chancellor Dr. Frank Ayers says the Raisbeck Endowed Engineering Chair will "...supervise the project based efforts of our engineering students in the Raisbeck Aero Design studio. This synergy of effort will ensure Embry-Riddle aerospace engineers are the best prepared to create the innovative designs of the future."
The campus currently has raised nearly $1.6 million (out of a total fundraising target of $4 million) toward the construction of the STEM building.
The facility will be used to provide labs and classrooms for Embry-Riddle students and will contain a planetarium under the domed roof for the university and the community, according to Ayers.
University officials also plan to open the building's doors on a weekly basis to high school and middle school students from around the Prescott region who are interested in pursuing careers in the STEM field.
In a parallel move, Embry-Riddle Prescott has established the Raisbeck Aviation High School/Embry-Riddle Prescott Scholarship. It's a full-tuition, 4-year scholarship available yearly to a student at Seattle's Raisbeck Aviation High School who meets specific academic criteria and financial need. The total scholarship fund is based on current tuition valued at $30,000 per year per recipient for 10 years.
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