Two Rensselaer students, Christopher Goldsmith, a native of White Sulphur Springs, N.Y., and David Drew, a native of Freeville, N.Y., have been awarded the Frederick M. Nussbaum ’30 Memorial Award for Outstanding Volunteerism. The award is granted to an outstanding senior in recognition of his or her volunteer activities on the Rensselaer campus or their civic involvement in bettering the local community and its people.
The award was created by Jim Ferguson ’53 and his family in recognition of their father’s volunteer activities on not only the Rensselaer campus but also in the broader community of Troy. For over 50 years, Nussbaum gave thousands of hours of time to others, says the family.
Goldsmith and Drew were each presented with a check for $1,000 by Jim Ferguson ’53 on Oct. 18 during the men’s ice hockey game against Bentley University. Erin Crotty ’92, director of community relations, was also present.
“I was privileged to work with Jim Ferguson and understand how much this award reflects the values of his family,” said Rick Hartt ’70, director of the Rensselaer Union. “The award further reinforces the values that Christopher and David’s family have instilled in them, and illustrates the role that volunteerism and civic engagement plays in Rensselaer’s education.”
Goldsmith, a student majoring in mechanical engineering and a member of the Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity, came to Rensselaer as an Eagle Scout and a member of the Order of the Arrow, the national honor society for the Boy Scouts of America. He was cited for his “relentless commitment to service of the highest caliber,” and was praised for “his depth and breadth of volunteerism at RPI that has underscored his passion of helping others to make this world a better place, both here at Rensselaer and beyond.”
Over the years, Goldsmith has held several leadership roles within his fraternity. He has also served as chair of the Student Senate Rules and Elections committee. Goldsmith has worked as a volunteer for countless activities, adding up to hundreds of hours given in service to his community, including for Habitat for Humanity, the Regional Food Bank of Northeast New York, Joseph’s House, Relay for Life, Rotary Scout Reservation, and park cleanups, among others.
According to a nominee, Drew, a student majoring in biochemistry and biophysics, has been actively participating in many organizations since the age of 13, and has “strived to be a force in the community.” The nominee noted that “his philanthropic character is one of his most dominant traits.” Prior to attending Rensselaer, Drew was an active member of Students Against Destructive Decisions. He was also part of Serteen, a youth service organization branching out from the Sertoma Organzation. Sertoma, which stands for Service to mannkind, is an international volunteer civic service organization founded in 1912 that provides a variety of community services, depending on the need.
Drew’s first community service experience at Rensselaer was with the Navigating Rensselaer & Beyond program, where he participated in the Habitat for Humanity build. Since then, he has held a number of leadership positions that includes serving as Class of 2009 President. He is a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, serving as external vice president, responsible for the organization’s community service efforts. Drew also created a new philanthropic event in which members of the fraternity and sisters of Alpha Gamma Delta would rock in sponsored rocking chairs for 36 straight hours. The effort raised $1,000 for Unity House of Troy and the Alpha Gamma Delta Foundation for Juvenile Diabetes. Currently, he is developing a new plan for the fraternity’s North American food drive, as well as several other community service projects.
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