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IBM chairman and CEO Louis V. Gerstner Jr. spoke to a packed house in 308 DCC Nov. 5 as part of Rensselaer’s Founders Day celebration. The day marked the Institute’s 175th birthday and the finale of the yearlong anniversary celebration.
In his speech, “Competing in a Networked World,” Gerstner talked about a “profound revolution” in which advanced computer networking is changing the way much of the world lives and operates.
“The revolution is not simply technology, but a new sleepless economy,” Gerstner said. “We’re only four or five years into this new economy ... and we’re seeing convergences of businesses and institutions with consumers on a global scale.
”Gerstner also received an honorary doctorate in engineering at the Honors Convocation, which recognized the outstanding academic achievements of more than 300 students and faculty members.
The anniversary celebration continued later that evening at the Houston Field House as the Engineers defeated Cornell 5-4 in overtime. A large birthday cake was cut at center ice between periods and more than 6,000 free cupcakes were distributed to the sold-out crowd.
To remember their undergraduate years and to celebrate Rensselaer’s 175th birthday, Class of 2000 students dedicated a time capsule at the game.
President Jackson, 175th Anniversary Chair Rob McIntosh ’60, Grand Marshal Eric Schmidt ’01, and Class of 2000 President Cosmo Marfione ’00 placed items representing Rensselaer’s history in the capsule at the dedication ceremony.
A copy of Jackson’s inaugural address, the pictorial
history book Rensselaer: Where Imagination Achieves the Impossible, two copies of The Polytechnic, and a Class of 2000 ring were placed in the capsule.
The capsule, to be sealed during Senior Week activities in May, will be on display in the visitor’s lounge in the new fitness center. The capsule will be opened during Class of 2000’s 25th reunion, which also marks Rensselaer’s 200th birthday.