Engineering Alumnus Supports Teaching with $7.8 Million Gift
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – University of Arkansas alumnus Robert H. Biggadike has made an estate gift commitment valued at more than $7.8 million to benefit the U of A College of Engineering. The gift will be used to establish the Robert H. Biggadike Endowment for Teaching in the college.
“This is a fantastic gift for the College of Engineering and the University of Arkansas,” said Chancellor G. David Gearhart. “Robert’s generosity is inspiring, and we are deeply touched by his support of his alma mater. His gift will allow the College of Engineering to make impressive advances and contribute greatly to its future success.”
Biggadike, a native of Newport, Ark., who now lives in West Covina, Calif., received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the university in 1958 and began a career in the aerospace industry. He later returned to Arkansas and earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. His aerospace career took him to California, where he worked for companies including Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics and Boeing. He was a control systems engineer, developing rigid and elastic body simulations of missiles and designing autopilot systems.
Biggadike earned the Degree of Engineer in mechanical engineering and computer methodology at UCLA while working full time. He attributes his ability to provide this gift of support to the College of Engineering to consistent investing throughout his career. He explained that he feels “engineers tend to be productive citizens who make a contribution to society.”
“A gift of this magnitude is outstanding and an excellent investment in our future,” said Engineering Dean John English. “Mr. Biggadike’s contribution will provide us with additional resources to support the teaching endeavors of our faculty, so the College of Engineering can continue to perform at exceptional levels. Our students will benefit from this gift as well, since they will learn from teachers and researchers who are being supported by this generous donation. We are deeply appreciative to Mr. Biggadike for his philanthropy.”
In 1983, Biggadike established a scholarship endowment in the College of Engineering in memory of his father. That gift is used to support juniors and seniors majoring in mechanical engineering. Because of his philanthropy, Biggadike is recognized in the Towers of Old Main, a society that honors the university’s most generous benefactors.
Jennifer Holland, director of development communications
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