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Parks College Receives Gift to Honor Alum


Saint Louis University’s Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology has received a $35,000 gift to set up a scholarship honoring alumnus Major Brian Patrick Murray.

Murray, who earned his undergraduate degree in aeronautics from Parks in 2002, went on to complete his Masters in aeronautical sciences at Embry-Riddle in 2011.  


Family and friends of Major Brian Patrick Murray presented a gift to establish a scholarship in his name at SLU's Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology. Photo by Sue Ratz

Murray began his military career in the Fall of 2002 by joining the Navy and completing Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Florida. He served in San Diego, California, and Enid, Oklahoma, before returning to Pensacola, where he ended his time with the Navy.  

Returning to St. Louis Maj. Murray joined the Illinois Air National Guard based at Scott Air Force Base. From there, he took his thousands of hours of flight time and put them to work as a first officer for Southwest Airlines, flying the Boeing 737.  

During his time in service, Murray had more than 600 hours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, and managed an operational training squadron and the weapons and tactics syllabus for more than 40 pilots. He also had more than 3,000 total combined flight hours and 12 years of military flight experience.   

Major Murray passed away on February 22, 2017 after battling the rare disease, amyloidosis. He is survived by his wife Anne and children Austin, Brennan and Corinne. 

Following his death, Murray’s family and friends established the Brian P. Murray Memorial Foundation. The Foundation was created to not only honor his life but to also help raise funds to help other families battling unexpected diseases like amyloidosis and to provide financial assistance to students who wanted to pursue their dreams of being pilots.  

In fulfillment of its mission, on Friday, January 11, the Brian P. Murray Memorial Foundation presented a check for $35,000 to Saint Louis University to be used to set up a scholarship to cover flight fees for students in need.

“This generous gift from the Brian P. Murray Foundation is very much appreciated by the Department of Aviation and will fill a real need that some of our students face,” said Steve Magoc, chair of aviation science at Parks. “This scholarship will allow students to afford flight training in situations where they might not have been able to otherwise. We are extremely grateful to the foundation for its kindness and generosity.”

The gift will be matched by Saint Louis University’s Go Further initiative and will be set up as an endowed scholarship allowing it to live on in well into the future.  

 The check was presented at the Center for Aviation Science located at the St. Louis Downtown Airport in Cahokia, Illinois.  

 About SLU’s Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology 

Saint Louis University’s Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology has a worldwide reputation for research-inspired, project-based education in engineering and aviation. As the first federally recognized flight school, Parks College has a rich history of creating well-rounded leaders in aviation and engineering fields. The college also has become a leader in the aerospace, biomedical, civil, computer, electrical, mechanical and other engineering disciplines, including engineering physics.