Parks College Receives Henry Luce Foundation Award

November 13, 2012
Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering, Air Force ROTC, Aviation Science, Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Parks College News, Physics

The grant will support two fellowships for graduate women in engineering.henry-luce-foundation-logo

The Henry Luce Foundation, through the Clare Boothe Luce (CBL) Program, has awarded Saint Louis University’s Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology $127,192 to support two fellowships for graduate women in engineering. The University will provide an additional $68,000 toward costs, bringing the total offered to $195,192 over two years for two outstanding women to pursue doctoral degrees in engineering fields.

This is the fifth grant award to Saint Louis University under the CBL program since 1990, but the first grant to support fellowships in engineering.

Phillip Ligrani, Ph.D., Oliver L. Parks Endowed Chair and Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, said the fellowships will provide unique and exciting opportunities for exemplary female graduate students who want to pursue Ph.D. studies at Parks.

“The students will benefit from programs which are uniquely structured to meet specific academic and career goals as cutting-edge research activities are undertaken to bring multiple perspectives to solve challenging and current scientific and societal programs,” Ligrani said.

”The emphasis on educating the whole person in a manner consistent with Catholic, Jesuit traditions will make these graduate studies experiences at SLU especially rewarding,” Ligrani added.

Ligrani, who also is Director of Graduate Programs for Parks College as well as a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and Distinguished Advisory Professor at Inje University in Gimhae, Korea,  will lead a special  committee to oversee the recruitment, selection and mentoring of the CBL Fellows.

The CBL Program strives to increase the participation of women in the sciences and engineering at every level of higher education and to serve as a catalyst for colleges and universities to be proactive in their own efforts toward this goal.  The CBL program is the single largest private source of funding for women in science and engineering.  Candidates for the fellowships must be U.S. citizens.

Theodosios Alexander, Sc.D., Dean of Parks College, said it is very exciting to offer this award for the two outstanding Ph.D. candidates.

“I believe that Parks College will be able to offer a world-class experience for the recipients of the grant,” Alexander said. “With the guidance of our faculty members, these graduate students will be able to make world-leading contributions to their fields in the future.”

Since its inception in 1989, grants totaling over $120 million have been made to 152 different colleges and universities.  These grants have benefited more than 1,550 women with undergraduate research awards, undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships, postdoctoral fellowships or professorships.

Clare Boothe Luce (1903-1987) was a remarkable woman whose career spanned seven decades and included many professional interests:  journalism, politics, theater, diplomacy and intelligence.  Under the terms of her will, she chose to establish a legacy that would benefit current and future generations of women with talent and ambition in areas where they continue to be extremely underrepresented – the sciences and engineering.  Half of all awards made under the CBL Program must go to Roman Catholic colleges or universities, as specified by Mrs. Luce.  Mrs. Luce was the wife of Henry R. Luce, founder of the Henry Luce Foundation and co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time, Inc.

For more information about the Clare Boothe Luce Fellowships at Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology, contact Dr. Phillip Ligrani at

All interested applicants can log on to for more details.

About the Henry Luce Foundation

The Henry Luce Foundation ( was established in 1936 by Henry R. Luce to honor his parents, who were missionary educators in China. The Foundation builds upon the vision and values of four generations of the Luce family: broadening knowledge and encouraging the highest standards of service and leadership.  The Henry Luce Foundation seeks to bring important ideas to the center of American life, strengthen international understanding, and foster innovation and leadership in academic, policy, religious and arts communities.

The Henry Luce Foundation pursues its mission today through the following grant-making programs: American Art; East Asia; Luce Scholars; Theology; Higher Education and the Henry R. Luce Professorships; the Henry R. Luce Initiative on Religion and International Affairs; Public Policy and the Environment; and the Clare Boothe Luce Program for women in science, mathematics and engineering.  The Henry Luce Foundation is located in New York City, NY.

About Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology

Saint Louis University’s Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology strives to cultivate practitioners, leaders and thinkers in aviation, engineering, and science by disseminating and integrating values, knowledge and skills in the pursuit of truth. Parks College was founded by Oliver “Lafe” Parks in 1927, and was the first federally approved school of aeronautics, receiving Air Agency Certificate #1.

During the World War II era, the college and its subsidiaries were responsible for training one of every 10 Army Air Corps pilots, plus thousands of aircraft mechanics.  In 1946, Oliver Parks gave Parks College to Saint Louis University.  It is the only Jesuit university in the U.S. with a flight program.

Today, Parks College has a worldwide reputation for exemplary aviation and aerospace engineering programs through a variety of undergraduate and graduate disciplines, including aerospace engineering, aviation management, flight sciences/professional piloting, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, computer engineering and biomedical engineering.

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