The Original Board of Trustees

Members of Aerospace’s original board of trustees came from various backgrounds in academia, business, and the military. A look at each person’s biographical information illustrates how extensive their collective wisdom must have been.

Clifford C. Furnas of the University of Buffalo served on the board from 1960 to 1969. Furnas was a scientist, educator, administrator, and author. He had directed the Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory from 1946 to 1954 and had been assistant secretary of Defense under President Eisenhower from 1955 to 1957. Furnas had worked on the development of the Explorer I satellite.
 
Trevor Gardner was special assistant to the secretary of the Air Force for research and development. He had been special assistant to Air Force Secretary Harold E. Talbott, and as an engineer, he had headed his own company. With his appointment after President Eisenhower’s election, he was one of the prime movers behind the U.S. ICBM program. He established the von Neumann committee. Gardner served as an Aerospace trustee from 1960 until his death in 1963.

Roswell L. Gilpatric, the first chairman of the board of trustees, had headed up the organizing committee involved in forming the new corporation. Gilpatric was an attorney who had served as undersecretary of the Air Force under President Eisenhower. When he left the Aerospace board in 1961, he became deputy secretary of Defense for President Kennedy.
 
Edwin E. Huddleson was a San Francisco attorney and charter trustee. In 1971 he was elected vice-chairman of the board. He served on the board until 1986.

Charles C. Lauritsen was the first vice-chairman of the board and served as a trustee through 1967. Born in Denmark, Lauritsen was a physicist who studied and taught at Caltech. He had served on the von Neumann committee.
 
Roger Lewis was president of General Dynamics. He was a member of the board from 1960 to 1962.
 
Maj. Gen. James McCormack, vice commander of the Air Research and Development Command, had been assigned responsibility for ICBM development. He had been appointed to the Millikan committee in 1959, and in 1960 joined the Aerospace organizing committee. He became a charter trustee in 1960 and served on the board through 1965. He returned to the board in 1970 as its new chairman.
 
Gen. Earle E. Partridge had a distinguished military career that spanned both World Wars and the Korean War. After the Korean War, Partridge commanded the Air Research and Development Command; he later became commander in chief of the North American Air Defense Command.
 
Arthur E. Raymond was a consultant for The Rand Corporation and had worked for Douglas Aircraft, where, he led the team that designed the DC-3 airplane.
 
Chalmers W. Sherwin had been a physics professor at the University of Illinois. Although he was a member of Aerospace’s original board, he resigned as a trustee in March 1961 yet continued in his role as vice president/general manager of the Laboratories Division. He led the preparation of the Dyna-Soar development program and its presentation to Secretary of Defense McNamara on September 27, 1961. In April 1963, he left Aerospace for a DOD appointment.
 
Jerome B. Wiesner, an MIT professor (who would become that university’s 13th president in 1971), had been a member of the von Neumann committee. He worked at MIT’s Radiation Laboratory on the development of microwave radar. He served as an Aerospace trustee in 1960–1961. After leaving the Aerospace board, he became chair of President Kennedy’s Science Advisory Committee.

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