September 20, 2022

When Project Ready Eagle landed the first F-15 Eagles in Bitburg, Germany, in 1977 at the height of the Cold War, a historic tenure of air superiority began for the United States Air Force. Among the pilots of these famous planes was Doug Pearson ’69, but among the crowd who greeted the pilots on the ramp was Doug’s eager young son, Todd Pearson ’99. 

Lt. Col. Todd Pearson '99 (top left) and Maj. Gen Doug Pearson '69 (top right) followed similar paths flying F-15s in their Air Force careers. (Photos provided by the Pearsons)

Aerospace and Air Force 

Although Doug retired from the Air Force in 2005 as a major general, he continues to set the pace for his son to make history in different areas, including investing in Aggieland’s success by serving on Texas A&M’s Aerospace Engineering Advisory Board, a role where he supports the department head and other faculty and speaks to students multiple times a year to share the lessons he learned as an Aggie. He even flew an F-15 into College Station’s Easterwood Airport to give the Squadron 2 Gators an opportunity to view the plane up close like Todd in 1977. “Texas A&M gave me the start I needed,” Doug shared. “The life lessons, academics and everything about this university are world class. It’s everything a university ought to be, and I’m grateful for what this place has done for me and my family.” 

Texas A&M gave me the start I needed...It’s everything a university ought to be, and I’m grateful for what this place has done for me and my family.”
- Doug Pearson '69

In addition to sharing his extensive knowledge and time with students, Doug and his wife, Teresa, made the generous decision to create a scholarship for Aggie aerospace engineering students through a donor-advised fund. Their gift is intended for juniors or seniors who have or are pursuing a pilot’s license or are members of the Texas Flying Club, a flight school in Bryan, Texas. The scholarship celebrates the Pearsons’ Aggie and aviation connections shared not only by Doug and Todd but also by Doug’s daughter, Becky ’00, who enjoys flying with her dad as often as she can. 

“I hope there’s someone out there with a public service mindset who needs a little extra help to finish school,” Doug explained. “We’ve experienced a lot of blessings and full-circle moments, so it’s only natural that we do everything we can to keep the cycle going to help the next Aggies in aerospace.”  

Interested in touching the lives of aerospace engineering students like the Pearson family? Contact Anna Norville using the form at the bottom of this page to start your giving journey today.