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Making a Difference


Global Vision

Each time a world-class researcher joins the Rensselaer faculty, the impact reverberates throughout the university. Trustee Jackson Tai ’72 and his wife, Kay, have made a gift to extend that impact far into the future — and around the world — by endowing a senior faculty chair to lead one of Rensselaer’s research constellations. The Kay and Jackson Tai ’72 Senior Constellation Professor will bring to campus a world-class scholar to work in partnership with outstanding junior faculty, on research and education activities focused in a key area in information technology or biotechnology.

Faculty excellence at this level, says Jackson Tai, will ensure that the university can attract the most competitive research grants, as well as “the best students from across the globe.”

Tai’s global perspective has served him well in an investment banking career that has taken him all around the Pacific Rim. Now in Singapore, he is vice chairman and chief executive officer of DBS Bank, on a mission to transform what was formerly named the Development Bank of Singapore into a major pan-Asian enterprise.

With his vision of large-scale institutional transformation, Tai understands well The Rensselaer Plan. “It’s a compelling roadmap,” he says, “and one that will ensure that alumni continue to be proud of Rensselaer and its legacy.” He and his wife, Kay, strongly support President Jackson’s vision for Rensselaer as a major research university with global reach and impact.

Tai came to Rensselaer from New York City’s Chinatown, where his immigrant parents worked long hours to give their children a good start in life. But “we didn’t have much money for college,” he recalls, gratefully acknowledging the financial aid he received. “The school’s generosity made it possible for me to have four enriching years at Rensselaer,” he says.

The Tais hope to be able to enrich the Rensselaer experience for faculty and students alike for generations to come. It is their desire that the endowment will support a distinguished professor who has “connections to emerging Asia.” That will be a fitting marker for Rensselaer’s global reach.

Rensselaer Magazine: Winter 2003
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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