COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — The University of Missouri has received a $2.85 million gift to create a graduate fellowship and faculty position in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
The donation comes from Sharon Langenbeck, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Missouri. In 1979, she became the first woman to graduate with a doctorate in mechanical and aerospace engineering from the College of Engineering, the school said Wednesday.
Langenbeck spent 17 years at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory before retiring in 2008. She currently is president of Zonta International, an organization that works to improve the lives of women and girls.
While at Missouri, Langenbeck was an Amelia Earhart Fellow, a program sponsored by Zonta International for women pursuing doctorates in aerospace engineering or space sciences.
“That fellowship helped launch my career in aerospace engineering, and I am fortunate to have spent my entire career in the industry,” Langenbeck said in a news release. “I want Mizzou to continue fostering opportunities for all students, especially young women, to launch their mechanical and aerospace careers through a Mizzou education.”