The University of Missouri has announced gifts totaling $1.28 million from alumnus Ronald J. Boain in support of its Department of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Arts and Science.
The gift includes a $1.25 million bequest to establish the Ronald J. Boain and Catherine J. Rangel Boain Endowment fund in support of undergraduate and graduate students studying astronomy and physics. Among other things, the fund will support expenses related to professional development activities such as on-campus speakers, career fairs, and students participating in internships. In addition, a gift of $30,000 will establish the Boain PhD Dissertation Award in Physics and the Boain PhD Student Travel Fund in support of graduate students.
Boain, who worked for NASA during the first mission to land astronauts on the moon, later worked in the aerospace industry and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he was involved with several projects, including planetary exploration and the design of satellites able to measure the water content of cloud systems.
"Throughout my career working in a field that I loved, I faced new problems and challenges," said Boain. "In many cases, the solution to these problems drew from the basic principles I learned during my study of physics. That is why it was an easy decision for Cathy and me to set aside a portion of our estate as an endowment to the University of Missouri and the Department of Physics and Astronomy. It is my hope it will help other students, like me, see opportunities in industry, government, and private and public research facilities during their years beyond graduation."