NEW FUND – William Beale Legacy Fund

The family of William Beale announces the creation of the William Beale Legacy Fund at the Athens County Foundation.  The new $150,000 fund will be used for investment in direct carbon footprint reduction innovations, including startups, discrete projects, and services. Carol Beale said, “I’m pleased with this opportunity to keep my husband’s passion and vision alive in our community.”

William Beale was a lover of planet earth, a WWII veteran, avid reader, lifelong inventor, and philosophizer. Born in the town of Chattanooga, TN, in 1928 it was Beale’s driving ambition to leave the world a “better place on the basis of sound engineering and innovative thought.”

He was an alumnus of CalTech and MIT. While in grad school at MIT, he met his wife Carol (then a graduate student at Harvard) in 1958. The couple moved to Athens in 1961 and raised their three children: Faith, Dan, and John.

In 1964, Beale invented the free-piston Stirling engine, which led to his founding Sunpower, Inc. The company, still based in Athens, is dedicated to engineering innovation in renewable-energy-derived power. There he spent over 35 years continuing his research and development until his retirement in 2011.

In his active retirement, Beale invested philanthropic dollars to local groups engaged in carbon footprint reduction innovation, research, and outreach; to regional non-profits dedicated to community development and environmental conservation; and to multiple individual technology start-ups.

Regarding the unique investment potential for this donor advised fund, Susan Urano, Executive Director of the Athens County Foundation said: “We are thrilled to honor Mr. Beale’s Legacy of work in carbon footprint reduction as well as amplify one of our goals to support a vital economy in Athens County.”

At the Athens County Foundation we invest in local strategies to empower Athens County residents and build on the strengths of our region, now and for generations to come.