The Power of Family
“We established the BE&KScholarships to encourage top students to enroll in the UAB School ofEngineering, which is building a reputation of producing well-qualified engineering professionals who tend to stay in Alabama,” says Mike Goodrich, president of Goodrich Management Company and former chairman and CEO of BE&K. “We consider these scholarships to be an investment in intellectual and human capital that will benefit everyone in our state.”
BE&K, an international industrial engineering and construction firm based in Birmingham, establishedthe endowed scholarship fund in the School of Engineering during UAB’s first capital campaign. Under the leadership of Mike Goodrich, the company pledged an additional $500,000 to its original scholarship endowment, providing funds for several high-level scholarships each year in the school and placing the BE&K Scholars awards in the top tier of competitive engineering scholarships.
“BE&K has provided numerous co-op and internship opportunities for UAB students, giving them the chance to gain engineering experience in a world-class organization,” says Linda Lucas, Ph.D., dean of the School of Engineering. “In late 2007, BE&K and the UAB School of Engineering co-hosted a luncheon on BE&K’s campus. Mike Goodrich spoke on behalf of the company, and more than 40 UABSchool of Engineering graduates were identified at that time as BE&K employees."
“The BE&K Scholarship has benefited me greatly,” says Alex Leslie, a BE&K scholar and junior majoring in civil engineering.“The money received, along with my academic scholarship from UAB, has made my college costs nearly free. I was recently inducted into Chi Epsilon, the civil engineering honor society. I would say that the BE&K scholarship assisted in my reaching this goal. Without it I may have not been able to devote so much of my time to my studies. Having the chance to meet my benefactors inspired me to continue with my efforts and do my best to represent BE&K and the university. I am very thankful for the scholarship, and I hope that by continuing to work hard, I may one day get to represent BE&K in a new manner, as a professional instead of a student.”
In supporting this scholarship, Mike Goodrich continued a long-standing family tradition of support for UAB. He had already served as co-chair of the Campaign for UAB, and he and his wife, Gillian, recently established a chair in the School of Engineering, the T. Michael and Gillian Goodrich Endowed Chair of Engineering Leadership. Their son Braxton was a member of the inaugural class of Leadership UAB last year.
Mike’s brother, Bill Goodrich, is serving a lead role in seeking support for stem cell research at UAB. He and the Goodrich family recently made a generous contribution to the work of Tim Townes, Ph.D. “Tim Townes is a world-class scientist,” Bill says. “How exciting would it be to have the cure for sickle cell anemia discovered right here at UAB?”
Henry Goodrich, father of Mike and Bill, has long made UAB a part of his family’s benevolent tradition throughout a career that spans the full range of corporate and civic dedication. The retired president and CEO of Sonat Inc. chaired the leadership gifts portion of UAB’s first campaign and served on its metro steering committee; he also was instrumental in facilitating a large Time Inc. gift to the university. He received an honorary doctorate of laws from UAB in 1986 and serves as a senior presidential advisor.
Henry and his late wife, Billie Grace, also made provisions through their estate for the Goodrich Chair in Cardiovascular Surgery. And they’ve contributed to the School of Engineering for the unique Redshirt Program, which opens up engineering careers to motivated students who lack the proper course preparation for UAB’s engineering curriculum. The Goodriches have made countless investments in the prosperity of UAB and Alabama.
“My father believes in what he calls ‘civic rent,’” Bill says. “Dr. Al Pacifico operated on my mother decades ago, and we believe many high-quality years were added to her life through his skills and the expertise of UAB. Our family is proud to support Birmingham’s most important asset.”
Lucas adds, “The generosity and support of the Goodrich family has meant and continues to mean so much to our institution. In addition to the financial support, Henry and Mike Goodrich have provided their personal guidance, insight, and support in so many ways as the school has grown over the years. The presence of this family is felt and appreciated all around the UAB community.”