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Making A Difference

Renaissance Challenge Heats Up Campaign

Architect’s rendering of the proposed East Campus Athletic Village. Graphic: Sasaki Associates
The $1.4 billion Renaissance at Rensselaer: The Campaign for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute momentum continues with the launch of the Renaissance Challenge. With more than $1.2 billion in gift commitments already secured, the campaign aims to raise the balance by June 2009 to support the initiatives of The Rensselaer Plan.

Through the Renaissance Challenge, a core group of leadership donors will contribute up to $25 million, and they are challenging others to join them by giving — with the goal to raise a total of $50 million to support the “Five Frontiers of Excellence” at Rensselaer. These include: scholarships and fellowships; constellations and faculty chairs; athletics and the East Campus Athletic Village; teaching and research in biotechnology and the life sciences; and experimental media and the arts.

As President Jackson described, “We focus in these areas because they move us in new directions, they build on our strengths, and they are undergirding. Together with our classic strengths in engineering, science, architecture, management, humanities, and social sciences — and other new thrust areas in nanotechnology, energy and the environment, media and the arts, and IT and computation — we are transforming Rensselaer.”

Throughout the challenge period, which lasts until December 2007, all gifts of $100,000 or more that support the “Five Frontiers” will count toward the $50 million goal.

Leading the way are Rensselaer Trustees Jeff Kodosky ’70 and Tom Iovino ’73, who have pledged an additional $2 million each as unrestricted gifts to the endowment to support the Renaissance Challenge. Kodosky and his wife, Gail, were the first to support The Rensselaer Plan with their earlier gift of $5 million to establish a faculty constellation in physics, information technology, and entrepreneurship. Iovino and his wife, Judy, also made an earlier commitment to support a career development professorship in civil engineering.

“Gail and I believe strongly in the ‘renaissance’ happening at Rensselaer across the campus,” says Kodosky. “You have to come back to Troy and see it for yourself — there is a real excitement today about innovation and research, about education, and about moving Rensselaer forward in many new ways.”

Iovino agrees. “As a civil engineer, I feel a connection with the great engineers of the past, and as a trustee, I share Gail and Jeff’s excitement about where RPI is heading. We know that giving to the endowment is going to make a difference for the students.”

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