Alumni Hall of Fame

Roland W. Schmitt
Roland W. Schmitt
Inducted October 1999

Roland W. Schmitt

Scientist, Manager, Educator
1923-2017

Through a distinguished career in technology research and education, Roland Schmitt, Rensselaer’s 16th president, emerged as a respected national leader on legislative and policy issues related to research and development, technology, competitiveness, and higher education.

He spent more than 37 years with the General Electric Company, where he directed GE’s Research and Development Center, one of the world’s largest and most diversified industrial laboratories.

In the 1980s he served as chair of the National Science Board that sets policy for the National Science Foundation.

As president of Rensselaer from 1988 to 1993, Schmitt oversaw completion of the New Century Campaign for $200 million and the establishment of a variety of new initiatives, including new research centers and degree programs. A popular president and respected statesman, he focused national attention on Rensselaer.