UA receives $7.8 million gift for engineering school

Posted: March 31, 2014 at 1:04 p.m.

A University of Arkansas in Fayetteville alumnus has pledged more than $7.8 million to the College of Engineering, the school said Monday.

The estate gift commitment will be used to create the Robert H. Biggadike Endowment for Teaching in the college, UA said. Biggadike, who has worked as an engineer in California for companies including Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics and Boeing, in 1983 established a scholarship endowment in the college in his father's memory that helps juniors and seniors majoring in mechanical engineering.

"This is a fantastic gift for the College of Engineering and the University of Arkansas,” Chancellor G. David Gearhart said in a statement. “Robert’s generosity is inspiring, and we are deeply touched by his support of his alma mater. His gift will allow the College of Engineering to make impressive advances and contribute greatly to its future success.”

Biggadike holds a bachelor's and a master's degree in mechanical engineering from UA and has spent his career in the aerospace industry, UA said. He is a native of Newport and now lives in West Covina, Calif.