Michael Stephen Ebanks Aerospace Memorial Scholarship
Michael Stephen Ebanks was born on October 26, 1980, and grew up in Carrollton, Texas, graduating from Newman Smith High School in June 1999. From a very young age he was highly interested in anything that flew – airplanes, rockets of any type. He attended U. S. Space Camp twice. He attended the Air Academy of the Experimental Aircraft Association in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and returned to the huge annual EAA fly-in there two more summers, where he also has the honor of having been added to EAA’s Memorial Wall at the fly-in site. Michael was a hard-working young man who held multiple part-time jobs in order to fund one of his fondest dreams: to obtain his private pilot’s license. He did earn this license in October 1997, one day after his 17th birthday. Michael was admitted to Texas A & M in the fall of 1999 as an Aerospace Engineering major to fulfill one of his other fond dreams – to follow in the footsteps of his late older brother, Keith (Gerald Keith Ebanks, Jr., ’89). His enthusiasm for Aerospace and Texas A & M was cut tragically short by Michael being one of the twelve who died in the Aggie Bonfire collapse on November 18, 1999. Michael’s family is highly honored that the Aerospace Engineering Department has established this annual scholarship in his name.
Joanne K. and Edward "Pete" Aldridge, '60 Endowed Scholarship
The Endowed Scholarship was established to promote and encourage students interested in careers in the aeronautics and astronautics professions to receive their education at Texas A&M University. The scholarship is named after Edward C. “Pete” Aldridge, Jr., an aeronautical engineering graduate of Texas A&M and his wife, Joanne K. Aldridge. After graduating from Texas A&M in 1960, Mr. Aldridge went on to received a Master of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and entered the aerospace industry specializing in missiles and space technology.
Throughout his professional career, Mr. Aldridge has served in leadership positions in the aerospace industry and government. He became the Under Secretary of the Air Force in 1981, responsible for integrating Air Force space programs as well as being the Director of the National Reconnaissance Office, the organization tasked with the development and operation of classified reconnaissance satellites. During this period he was also in astronaut training, but that training ended after the Challenger accident. In 1986, he was named by President Reagan as the Secretary of the Air Force. From 1992 to 2001, Mr. Aldridge was also President and Chief Executive Officer of The Aerospace Corporation, a space systems engineering company. Upon his retirement from that organization President George W. Bush appointed him as the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics), responsible for the acquisition and support of advanced weapon systems. Mr. Aldridge retired from government service in 2003, and currently serves on three corporate boards.
He has been honored at Texas A&M with awards as a Distinguished Alumnus, the Distinguished Aerospace Engineering Alumnus, the College of Engineering Honor Alumnus, and Corps of Cadets Hall of Honor.
Mr. Aldridge has said that any successes in his life and career can be directly attributable to his education and leadership training he received at Texas A&M. His desire is to provide that same opportunity to other aerospace engineering students at Texas A&M who might otherwise lack the resources to achieve their desires.
Patrick A. and Carol J. Gibson Scholarship in Aerospace Engineering
Carol and Patrick Gibson grew up in the same part of Dallas and both graduated from Bryan Adams High School. Pat applied to the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (changed to Texas A&M University while he was there) and was accepted as an Aeronautical Engineering student. He entered the all male school and was a cadet in the compulsory Corps of Cadets. Pat was one of 66 freshmen that entered Squadron 8 the fall of 1961, all of them were engineering majors. He was Commanding Officer of Squadron 8 his senior year, as well as a member of the Ross Volunteers and Sigma Gamma Tau.
Pat graduated the spring of 1965, married Carol, and started a Master's degree in Aerospace Engineering at A&M. He had a department assistantship and Carol worked for the Counseling and Testing Department His thesis was "Critical Mechanical Properties of Highly Filled Elastomers". The highly filled elastomer was solid rocket propellant.
After graduating in the summer of 1966, Pat went to work for GD'Convair at Cape Canaveral, launching the Atlas-Centaur rocket, followed by working for Bell Helicopter in Ft Worth as a Flight Test Engineer. He then went into sales and worked 8 years for Lord Manufacturing, a manufacturer of bonded rubber-to-metal products. The last 32 years were spent working with Blair Engineering in Dallas, selling a variety of mechanical/electro-mechanical products. Pat retired the end of 2009.
Carol and Pat have 2 sons, one a graduate of A&M, the other of NTSU. They live in Fairview, just north of Dallas. Pat is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas and a pilot, and they both enjoy traveling.
Carol and Pat gave the money for these scholarships because:
- "We have a love of Texas A&M and my/our time there. I have many lifetime friendships started there. For example, 5 of us have had a quarterly lunch the past 20+ years."
- "My education at Texas A&M provided me the tools to make a comfortable living all these years and now have a comfortable retirement."
- "A college education is an expensive proposition at any time over the years, but especially now. Perhaps this scholarship money can make a difference in the scholar's personal and family finances. "