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Making a Difference

E. Fred Schubert
E. Fred Schubert. Photo by Mark McCarty
Endowing Rensselaer’s Future

To carry out the aggressive research agenda outlined in The Rensselaer Plan, Rensselaer must recruit scholars of international stature — leaders in key fields whose pioneering research fosters the best kind of learning environment for undergraduate and graduate students.

Rensselaer is mindful of the extraordinary competition it faces in recruiting these faculty, particularly in the burgeoning areas of information technology and biotechnology. The Institute’s success in doing so will result, in large measure, from the generosity of alumni, friends, and corporations who lend their financial support to these efforts. In the last several months, several leading alumni and friends — many of them Rensselaer trustees — have made major financial commitments to support faculty endowments. Momentum is building, as are endowments to support these critical appointments.

In information technology, Kathleen and Paul Severino ’69 are supporting the Wellfleet Future Chips Constellation at Rensselaer, named for the company Paul Severino co-founded in 1986. In making this gift, Severino, a trustee and co-chair of the capital campaign steering committee, wanted to ensure the success of The Rensselaer Plan that was developed by President Jackson with the Rensselaer community. Essential to that success is an increase in spending in focal research areas. According to Severino, “Investing in the future chips constellation is a strategic investment in our long-term future as a world-class research university.” Last fall, E. Fred Schubert, a pioneering semiconductor researcher, was appointed senior chair of this constellation.

In biotechnology, John Broadbent Jr. ’59 will support a senior chair in biocatalysis and metabolic engineering, one of Rensselaer’s critical constellation focal areas. At press time, Robert J. Linhardt, a leading carbohydrate chemist, was named to the position.

According to Broadbent, also a Rensselaer trustee, “Rensselaer’s strategic initiative in biotechnology is a vital component of its effort to attain recognition as a university with global reach and global impact. Biocatalysis and metabolic engineering extends the Institute’s strengths into an area of biotechnology with significant commercial applications.”

Last year, Trustee Tom Baruch ’60 agreed to support the Richard Baruch M.D. Career Development Professor (named in honor of his father), also in biocatalysis and metabolic engineering. In addition, Rensselaer is the recipient of an anonymous donation to support a senior chairholder in biochemistry. Also last year, New York philanthropist Morris “Marty” Silverman provided the support needed to create a constellation in tissue engineering.

Ensuring that the Institute’s faculty recruitment spans the globe, Trustee Jackson Tai ’72 and his wife, Kay, have provided support for a senior chair with Asian connections, to be placed in a constellation focal area.

The first constellation endowment received was from Gail and Jeffrey Kodosky ’70, who are supporting a faculty constellation in physics, information technology, and entrepreneurship. In addition, Judith and Thomas Iovino ’73 have agreed to support a career development professorship in civil engineering.

In the words of Baruch, there is an “absolute revitalization at Rensselaer, an institution with a sense of purpose that will play a major role in changing our lives for the better.” These gifts will ensure Rensselaer’s place in doing just that.

Rensselaer Magazine: March 2003
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Rensselaer (ISSN 0898-1442) is published in March, June, September, and December by the Office of Communications.

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