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Making a Difference

Celebrating collaboration: President Jackson presented GM’s Rick Wagoner and Larry Burns (l-r) with a plaque recognizing the long-standing partnership between Rensselaer and General Motors. (Photo by Lee Short)

A Working Partnership

Last October, President Shirley Ann Jackson and key Rensselaer leaders participated in “Partnership Day” at General Motors Corporation (GM) in Detroit, Mich. Rick Wagoner, president and chief executive officer of General Motors, Larry Burns, vice president of General Motors research and development and planning, and Joe Joseph, dean of engineering at General Motors University and director of the GM Knowledge Center, along with other key GM leaders, participated in the event.

President Jackson recognized the outstanding partnership between Rensselaer and General Motors. “Strategic partnerships in education and research—among colleagues at national and international universities and in governmental and corporate research laboratories—are absolutely essential to the future of Rensselaer, to the future of corporations like General Motors, and indeed, to the global economy,” she said.

GM’s support of Rensselaer is long-standing. Rensselaer and the GM Technical Education Program have partnered to deliver award-winning distance education. In fact, March 2001 marked the graduation of the 10th Rensselaer class from the Technical Education Program, with 131 GM employees at 18 sites earning a Master of Science in Engineering Science degree from Rensselaer. In 2001, General Motors also selected Rensselaer to provide a new M.S. in Management for its employees.

“Leadership in technology innovation is an integral component of General Motors’ intent to be the industry leader in product and design innovation,” says Burns. “The M.S. in Engineering Science and the M.S. in Management are helping GM to support the important people who are at the foundation of our leadership in innovation.”

Collaboration in education for working professionals is only one aspect of General Motors’ extensive relationship with and support of Rensselaer. GM led a consortium of corporate donors in contributing workstations and software to support computer-assisted design, manufacture, and engineering. The company also is a consistent supporter of scholarship and research through the General Motors Foundation. At the event, Jim Gutting, director of safety regulations and consumer information and key executive for Rensselaer relations, and Tom Thivierge, director of talent acquisition, awarded Rensselaer a General Motors Foundation Grant Award of $50,000.


Rensselaer Magazine: March 2002
President's View Your Mail From the Archives Hawk Talk Class Notes Features
Front Page At Rensselaer Milestones
In Memoriam Making a Difference Staying Connected
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