The Pittsburgh Foundation

Laura Taber Barbour Aviation Safety Fund

Established: 11/16/1955

On April 14, 1945, a DC-3 struck a mountain near Morgantown, West Virginia killing all 20 people aboard the airplane. This fund was established by the late Clifford E. Barbour and his son, Clifford E. Barbour Jr., in memory of their wife and mother, a passenger on the flight.

While few details are known about Laura, her husband Clifford was a noted theologian in Pittsburgh. He attended Pittsburgh Public Schools, graduated from The University of Pittsburgh in 1921 and went on to The Western Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh. He received his PhD in 1927 from The University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Clifford went on to serve several parishes, first as Pastor at Herron Avenue Presbyterian Church from 1923 to 1926. He was also Pastor of Second Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tenn., for 23 years.

Clifford authored the book, Sin and the New Psychology. He also served on several boards of religious organizations, was Dean of The School of Religion at The University of Tennessee and Director of Maryville College. He served his church as Moderator of the General Assembly from 1949-1950.

In 1951, Dr. Barbour was inaugurated as the fourth president of The Western Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh where he served until the school merged to form Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (PTS) in 1959.

He died January 10, 1979. The PTS library was named in his honor. The fund supports the work of individuals who have made a significant contribution to aviation safety.

Type of Fund

  • Designated