SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Boeing Company and Mrs. June Boeing, wife of the late William E. Boeing, Jr., announced today an unprecedented philanthropic partnership, each contributing $15 million to significantly expand science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education offered through The Museum of Flight. These generous investments will launch the Boeing Academy for STEM Learning, a vigorous, new STEM-focused education initiative that aims to double the number of students served by the Museum’s immersive programs over the next two years, particularly from communities underrepresented in STEM fields, and connect them to fulfilling, in-demand jobs.
“This is an opportunity to invest in our children and in our region’s future economic health and growth,” said Ray Conner, president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Boeing is committed to serving underrepresented areas of the community and we are proud to partner with The Museum of Flight to help inspire students to reach new heights.”
Washington state leads in creating STEM jobs, but by 2017 an estimated 45,000 STEM jobs in Washington will go unfulfilled due to lack of qualified candidates, according to Washington STEM, a non-profit organization advocating for increased investment in STEM education.
In addition, the $15 million investment from Mr. and Mrs. William E. Boeing Jr., set in motion before Mr. Boeing passed away this past January, will also be used to deepen educational impact and facilitate long-term preservation and exhibition of the artifacts, enhanced guest satisfaction and prolonged operational sustainability at the Museum.
“When it came to The Museum of Flight, Bill cared about everything — the collections, the visitors, the youth and the financial health of the institution,” said Mrs. Boeing. “He was delighted that our support would honor the past, while today’s Boeing would ensure a robust future for children, regardless of economic means.”
“This year marks our 50th year of preserving air and space history and providing educational programs to our community,” said Doug King, President and CEO of The Museum of Flight. “Our museum has become a learning laboratory for children of all ages. The Museum has ambitious plans ahead to deliver a deeper educational and economic impact for our region. With this combined $30 million contribution from The Boeing Company and Mr. and Mrs. William E. Boeing Jr., we’ve been launched on our way towards transforming our museum, our educational mission and the community we serve.”
The Museum provides STEM education programming for students from pre-kindergarten through high school and is home to Highline Public Schools’ Raisbeck Aviation High School (RAHS), which has a curriculum focused on engineering and science. RAHS received gold status recognition from U.S. News & World Report in 2015, ranking as the 6th top performing school in Washington state and 252nd out of more than 32,000 high schools surveyed nationwide.
“‘Inspiration begins here!’ is a statement we like to use at the Museum. Over the past several years, we’ve been able to share our programs and inspiration with students throughout the state, across the country and around the world,” said King. “Just imagine what these incredibly generous investments will help us do in the years to come.”
About Seattle’s Museum of Flight
Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2015, the independent, non-profit Museum of Flight is the largest private air and space museum in the world, serving more than 560,000 visitors annually. The Museum’s collection includes more than 160 historically significant airplanes and spacecraft, from the first fighter plane (1914) to today’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Attractions also include the Red Barn® (the original Boeing Company factory) and the world's only full-scale NASA Space Shuttle Trainer. The Museum’s aviation and space library and archives are the largest on the West Coast. More than 160,000 individuals are impacted annually by the educational mission of the Museum. The Museum of Flight is accredited by the American Association of Museums, and is an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. The Museum of Flight is a non-profit foundation, independent from The Boeing Company or any other corporation.
About The Boeing Company
Boeing Commercial Airplanes, a business unit of The Boeing Company, is committed to being the leader in commercial aviation by offering airplanes and services that deliver superior design, efficiency and value to customers around the world. There are more than 10,000 Boeing commercial jetliners in service, flying passengers and freight more efficiently than competing models in the market. With headquarters in the Puget Sound region of Washington state, Boeing Commercial Airplanes has operations in more than a dozen cities and countries. The business unit comprises airplane programs from the 737 to the 787, as well as extensive fabrication and assembly facilities and a global customer support organization.
About William E. Boeing, Jr. and June Boeing
The Museum of Flight lost a great friend with the passing of William E. Boeing, Jr. on January 7, 2015. He was 92. Boeing was an insightful and driving force of The Museum of Flight from its founding nearly 50 years ago. There have been countless improvements and enhancements to the Museum made possible through his gifts, including the construction of a full-scale replica of a 1920s Boeing Model 40B mailplane/airliner and The Tower at Boeing Field exhibit, but his most important contribution was making sure the Museum honors the past and inspires the future.
The Museum is thankful for the continued friendship and support of June Boeing, who was a steadfast partner in her husband’s philanthropy, served as honorary chair of The Museum of Flight’s First Fifty Gala on June 27, and continues to bolster and inspire the staff and Board of Trustees of The Museum of Flight, offering guidance, encouragement and motivation.