My Winthrop Experience

Name: Sadie Livingston Boyer '58
Residence: Carollton, Virginia
Affiliation: 1958 Alumna, B.S. in Mathematics
Gift Designation: Sadie Livingston Boyer-Dale Boyer Endowed Scholarship Fund

Sadie Livingston Boyer '58 is hard-pressed to refer to herself as a trailblazer, but the facts speak for themselves. In the ˜50s and '60s, a time when few women achieved notoriety in mathematics, science, and engineering, Boyer rose steadily up the ranks at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. Now Boyer and her husband, Dale, himself a retired engineer, have established the Sadie Livingston Boyer — Dale Boyer Endowed Scholarship Fund to give other young women similar opportunities.

The scholarship, established originally as a bequest, provides funding for students majoring in mathematics, chemistry, biology, environmental studies, human nutrition, or pre-engineering, with first preference given to female students. Boyer and her husband decided to begin funding the scholarship early thanks in part to the reinstatement of the IRA Charitable Rollover provision of the Pension Protection Act. Now the scholarship will begin funding during Boyer's lifetime, with the first award given in fall 2014.

Boyer, a member of Winthrop's Blue Line Society, said that she's "extremely grateful" to Winthrop for providing her with the educational foundation that made her career successes possible. She credits late Professor of Mathematics G.W. Hahn with pointing her to a fruitful, fulfilling career with NASA. Recently she connected with Hahn's family — nearly 60 years after he gave her the advice that changed her life — to say "thank you," and the experience affirmed her decision to make two new gifts totaling $26K to her scholarship.

The Newberry, S.C., native worked for Langley Research Center for 32 years, retiring as Assistant Chief of the Programs and Resources Division. She began her career with NASA as a National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics mathematician in the Flight Research Division, where she became the first woman to be first author of a NASA technical paper. Boyer later worked in the Scientific Computer Division. She earned a number of awards throughout her career, including the NASA Exceptional Service Medal.

Boyer explained that she's "extremely grateful" to Winthrop for providing her with the educational foundation that made her career successes possible. She noted that she and Dale believe that education — particularly a Winthrop education — is a gift that continues to give.

"We believe that education is a huge key to leading a successful, independent and happy life," said Boyer. "Education gives back, and then maybe one day those scholarship recipients will give back."