Goddard Fund Ensures Hands-On Learning for Future Generations

Thanks to Art Goddard ’59

Over a career spanning nearly four decades in engineering, marketing, and executive management, Art Goddard ’59 designed and developed advanced electronics systems at leading companies such as Rockwell and Boeing. As a youth, he was happiest when tinkering and always found deeper learning through hands-on activities. He and his wife Mary Ellen recently endowed a fund to support experimental student projects, particularly in STEM topics.

“I was one of those kids who learned more from hands-on experience,” he explains. “If I could just touch something, work with it with my hands, I’d learn more.” As a boarder from Plymouth, Massachusetts, he found opportunities at MB. Art took mechanical drawing with Warren Howe, did the lighting for the Proscenium Club, and got his ham radio license through the Radio Club.

Art pursued engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Montana State University. “At WPI, everyone wanted me as a partner — I knew my way around a lab,” he laughs. He did independent projects for credit, which was unusual at the time, he says; after he graduated, WPI reorganized its curriculum to require project-based learning.

In graduate school, Art was nominated for Sigma Xi, an honorary scientific and engineering society. Throughout his career, he was impressed by Sigma Xi’s Grants in Aid of Research program, seed money awards for materials or software that could make a big difference in a project’s potential.

Moved to support such opportunity for MB students, Art and Mary Ellen recently established the Goddard Fund for Student Projects, providing aid grants that support hands-on, experimental learning.

The Goddard Fund’s launch fits neatly with MB’s STEM expansion: curriculum, specialized electives, and co-curriculars which will find a home in the new Y-Lab. “Mary Ellen and I hope that this fund extends and complements what can be accomplished in the Y-Lab,” Art says. “When faculty members recognize circumstances where funding can help projects excel, we hope they will direct students to the Goddard Fund.”