The School of Aerospace Engineering was originally established as "The Daniel Guggenheim School of Aeronautics" on March 3, 1930 when the Georgia School of Technology (now, Georgia Institute of Technology) received a $300,000 grant from The Daniel Guggenheim Fund for the Promotion of Aeronautics, Inc. This was the last and third largest grant made to seven institutions across the United States for the establishment of centers for aeronautical research and instruction. The Guggenheim Building was dedicated on June 8, 1931. The first classes were begun in September 1931 with eighteen students, two faculty members, and a budget of $10,000. To better reflect the School's growing and expanding interests and responsibilities beyond the field of aeronautics, its name was officially changed to the School of Aerospace Engineering effective July 1, 1962.
Today, the School of Aerospace Engineering is generally acknowledged to be among the top five leading programs in aerospace engineering in the US.
Born in Philadelphia, Daniel was an industrialist and philanthropist known for his acquisition of ASARCO and the management of the Guggenheim mining enterprise. During World War I, he and his son became aviation enthusiasts leading to the establishment of the Daniel Guggenheim Medal and the Daniel Guggenheim Fund for the Promotion of Aeronautics to recognize and stimulate research in aviation technology.