Harry C. Stonecipher
The Boeing Company
"Nothing Remains the Same"
Launch of the St. Louis Center for Aerospace Research and Education
St. Louis, Missouri
May 09, 2002
Here is a simple truth about people, places and business enterprises.
Nothing remains the same. You move ahead, or you fall behind. You invent and create, develop and learn, or you wither and die.
For many years now, St. Louis has been one of the real gateways in global aviation and aerospace. In fact, in a couple of weeks from now, we will celebrate one of the landmark events in the history of aviation - the 75th anniversary of Charles Lindbergh's flight across the Atlantic in the Spirit of St. Louis.
Speaking for The Boeing Company, I see the launch of the Center for Aerospace Research and Education as an important event in keeping this city and region at the leading edge of aerospace activities in the 21st century.
Boeing has identified a total of 75 "focus schools" among colleges and universities around the world. These are the schools that we regard as especially important to us - for research, recruitment and the continuing education of our engineers, technical people and business leaders. Four of these schools have come together in forming this center or consortium. They are: Washington University, St. Louis University, the University of Missouri-Rolla and the University of Missouri - Columbia.
We - and many of our suppliers - are already working with these four schools in a variety of ways. So how or why will the Center make a difference? Think of the difference between a warehouse and an airplane. The warehouse may contain two million parts but the airplane - to quote an old line - is "two million parts flying together in close formation."
The Center will act as a force multiplier in a variety of ways. It will promote greater collaboration among the four institutions of learning and between them and industry. It will be able to address complex interdisciplinary problems by bringing together people from different schools and businesses. It will allow for higher level partnering between industry and academia in this region in response to opportunities in both the public and private sectors.
Still further, the Center will strengthen and simplify linkages with various economic development agencies at the regional, state and federal levels. Finally, it's great to know that the Center will work with project Aria in taking engineering to students in this area from grades K through 12.
Boeing is very pleased to endorse this Center. Congratulations to Dean Byrnes, Professor Agarwal - the Center's director - and many others for having the foresight and doing the hard work to bring this Center into creation. I wish you the greatest success in creating a whole new "Spirit of St. Louis" in aerospace research and education.