Dr. Woodie Flowers (1943-2019)

Dr. Woodie Flowers was Co-Chair of the FIRST Executive Advisory Board, Distinguished Advisor to FIRST, and Pappalardo Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Soon after Dean Kamen founded FIRST, he and Woodie collaborated on the development of the FIRST® Robotics Competition. Woodie was also critical to establishing the ethos of FIRST by coining the term Gracious Professionalism® and nurturing its meaning in his every action.

Throughout the 30 years of FIRST, Woodie has been an incredible supporter of our mission, a friend to everyone he met, and an inspiration to our students, alumni, mentors, volunteers, supporters, and staff. Recipients of our Woodie Flowers Award, past and future, will carry on his legacy as mentors who inspire young people through the art and science of engineering and design.

Throughout the 2020 season and beyond, the FIRST community will celebrate Woodie’s life and legacy. Woodie’s beloved wife, Margaret, has and will continue to be a key part of FIRST. She has graciously asked that those wishing to honor Woodie do so through the Woodie Flowers Memorial Fund at firstinspires.org/woodie-flowers-memorial.