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RAA Honors Severino ’69
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* RAA Honors Severino ’69
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The Rensselaer Alumni Association presented its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, to Paul Severino ’69 at the annual RAA Awards Dinner held Oct. 15 on campus.

“Paul Severino is the consummate entrepreneur,” said President Shirley Ann Jackson in presenting the award. “The pioneering companies he created shaped the telecommunications industry. His leadership has earned him accolades and recognition worldwide.”

Severino began his career as an early employee of Digital Equipment Corp., Prime Computer, and Data Translation Inc., which became the industry leader in microcomputer data acquisition systems. These experiences proved a training ground for entrepreneurship: Severino went on to found Interlan, the first company to provide Ethernet adapter products for microcomputer systems, and then Wellfleet Communications, the leading supplier of high-performance systems and services for enterprise networks. In 1994, Wellfleet merged with Synoptics Communications to become Bay Networks Inc., which was later acquired by Nortel.

Severino is currently engaged as an investor and adviser to emerging technology companies. He is a member of the Rensselaer Board of Trustees and served as co-chair of the Renaissance at Rensselaer campaign steering committee. He has been an active adviser to Rensselaer’s Lally School, incubator program, and entrepreneurship center.

As philanthropists, Severino and his wife, Kathleen, have funded at Rensselaer state-of-the-art networking equipment and student scholarships, and endowed the Paul J. ’69 and Kathleen M. Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship, and later, the Wellfleet Constellation in Future Chips Research.

“Tonight we honor a born engineer, an entrepreneur to his very soul, a dedicated mentor, and a deeply generous friend and alumnus,” said Jackson.
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