Gift of a Lifetime
A fishing trip to Bull shoals Lake in Arkansas in his Uncle David’s Cessna sparked in 16-year-old Robert C. Beatty an enthusiasm for aviation that would last a lifetime. Beatty’s cousin, Terry Ladage, who was also on the trip, said their uncle let him fly the plane most of the three hours from Springfield, Illinois to Arkansas. Robert flew most of the way home. Ladage said after that one-day adventure, he and Robert talked about nothing but aviation.
After high school, Beatty went on to take classes at the University of Illinois Institute of Aviation, and earn two degrees in aeronautical and astronautical engineering—a BS in ’69 and an MS in ’71. He spent the majority of his career working in design at Mcdonnell Douglas and Boeing in Irvine, California.
Beatty died in May 2016 at the age of 68, leaving an estate gift to the Department of Aerospace Engineering for $1.48 million—the largest single donation the department has ever received.
The Department of Aerospace Engineering’s Director of Advancement Tim Cochrane said the gift was made to support AE graduate students. “The gift established an endowment fund whose annual income will assist generations of AE graduate students with the creation of multiple fellowships.”
For more information about ways you can support the department, contact Tim Cochrane at firstname.lastname@example.org or 217-333-1149.