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Making a Difference

A Time of Great Celebration

Rensselaer Union
Photo by Mark McCarty

The weekend of Oct. 14-16 was a time of great celebration at Rensselaer, following on the heels of the inauguration of Shirley Ann Jackson as Rensselaer’s 18th president (see also page 16). Rensselaer participated in the dedication of the Louis Rubin Memorial Approach, a true symbol of the partnership between Rensselaer and its community. The Paul J. ’69 and Kathleen M. Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship was dedicated, opening the door to a new era at Rensselaer where entrepreneurship, information technology, and management are inextricably entwined. The center will bring the concept of entrepreneurship front and center to the entire student body. The weekend also included the awarding of the 1999 William F. Glaser ’53 Entrepreneur of the Year to trustee Nancy Mueller, founder of Nancy’s Specialty Foods, who also serves as chair of the School of Science Advisory Board.

Sun Microsystems Takes a Lead in Information Technology

Sun Microsystems has just made a significant contribution to facilitating Rensselaer’s ongoing leadership in information technology with a state-of-the-art equipment donation valued at over $862,000 (with the educational discount). Sun’s donation of three Enterprise 3500 servers, four Ultra 60 workstations, and 55 Ultra 10 workstations will revitalize the Sun equipment on campus in the departments of Computer Science and Electrical, Computer & Systems Engineering (ECSE), and in the Scientific Computation Research Center (SCOREC). The Sun equipment gift will allow students and faculty to maximize their opportunities for growth and exploration. It is also a significant contribution to the information technology fund-raising initiative now under way. Edward Zander ’68 is Sun’s president and chief operating officer and was a featured speaker at Dr. Jackson’s investiture on Sept. 24.

Student Union Leaders Help Renovation Take Shape

Recent gifts from former student leaders are helping to move forward the renovation of the Rensselaer Union. Harvey Zeve ’52, who has made a substantial commitment to the effort, is chairing the campaign. As a student, Zeve was an active participant in Union clubs and organizations. In addition, Rick Spillane ’72 recently contributed a major gift through a fund he and his wife established at the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund. Spillane was president of the Union in 1971-1972 and is currently a senior vice president at Fidelity. The Rensselaer Alumni Association board of trustees also made a gift to name the RAA Lounge in the northwest corner of the Union. As a result of the generosity of these and other alumni, the resulting Rensselaer Union truly will be a revitalized hearth for Rensselaer students. To find out more about the Union renovation, or to make a gift, visit AlumServ at or call Terri Van Patten at (518) 276-2634.

Gifts of Securities Make a Real Difference to the Annual Fund

There are many ways to have an impact on Rensselaer’s students, faculty, research, and curriculum. One of the most powerful is through a gift to the Rensselaer Annual Fund. Increasingly, tax-savvy alumni are choosing to make their gifts through appreciated securities. One such donor to the Annual Fund is Vincent D’Agostino ’76. He is currently starting his own company,, an affinity marketing firm that works with e-commerce sites to help them attract and retain customers. In D’Agostino’s own words, “Donating securities is a win-win— I can give more and Uncle Sam helps Rensselaer too.” To find out more about making gifts of appreciated securities to the Annual Fund, visit AlumServ at www.alumni. or call Lisa McGrath ’89 at (518) 276-6055.

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