SAIC founder inspires hot-tub pranksters

Robert Beyster's gift to his alma mater inspires students to install a hot tub in his honor.

Robert Beyster, the founder of Science Applications International Corp. and an early pioneer of the government IT contracting industry, has inspired a generation of entrepreneurs and technologists interested in serving the government.

He also apparently inspired a group of pranksters at his alma mater, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

The Michigan Daily is reporting that an unknown group of students and faculty installed a hot tub on the roof of the computer science and engineering building at the university’s north campus.

The building is to be renamed the Bob and Betty Beyster Building after Beyster made a $15 million donation to the school. Part of the funds will be used to create the J. Robert Beyster Computational Innovation Graduate Fellows Program to support research on high-performance computing, networking and storage.

A group of grateful students and faculty installed the hot tub and dubbed it, “the Bob and Betty Beyster Bubbler, a special gift for the students of Michigan CSE.”

Alas, the hot tub disappeared about 24 hours after it first appeared, according to the Michigan Daily. The perpetrators remain a mystery.

The newspaper reported that a professor talked to the Beysters, who thought the hot tub incident was humorous.