N E W S L E T T E R
F O R
C O N T R I B U T O R S
W P I
inside George I. Alden Trust advances undergraduate life sciences education at WPI WPI celebrates opening of new Alden Center
hanks to a transformative gift of $11.5 million from the George I. Alden Trust, WPI’s most generous benefactor, undergraduate life sciences faculty and students are now benefitting from state-of-theart laboratory and teaching facilities. The WPI community gathered on August 27 to dedicate the new George I. Alden Life Sciences and Bioengineering Educational Center and celebrate this important advancement of life sciences education at WPI.
From Dexter’s Desk highlights fundraising progress this year
Gift supports student scholarships
Endowed professors installed
The George I. Alden Center is the result of a sweeping renovation of Goddard Hall that transformed a dated building into a dynamic, well-equipped learning center that promotes cross-disciplinary teaching. The Alden Center is designed to accommodate growing interest in the life sciences and related engineering programs at WPI—enrollment in these fields has increased by 86 percent over the past four years— and to prepare students for success in the rapidly expanding life sciences sector. “The built environment of a university ought to reflect the character and values of that institution, and so it is with the new Alden Center,” said President Dennis D. Berkey at the dedication event. “You will see in these new laboratories that they are of an open style that supports the collaborative nature of modern science and the very educational philosophy of WPI, an ideal environment for our innovative and engaging project-based approach to education.” “We realize that Mr. Alden’s principle of theory and practice is still as relevant today as it was almost 150 Continued on page 5
Student gives back to WPI Fundraising launched for Sports and Recreation Center
9 K-12 Outreach programs receive significant boost
ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Camp held at WPI
Professor exemplifies philanthropy
A look back at 2009
President and Mrs. Berkey support innovation
ABOVE: Susan Woodbury, chair of the George I. Alden Trust, and President Berkey cut the ribbon to officially open the George I. Alden Life Sciences and Bioengineering Educational Center. Also pictured here are Alden Trustees Gail Randall (left), James Collins, Warner Fletcher, secretary of the Alden Trust and a WPI trustee, Roseann Gammal ’10, vice president of the Student Government Association, and Catherine Berkey. LEFT: Large recognition plaque in the Alden Center
2 From Dexter’s Desk
Gifts of Hope Dear Friends,
TH E YE AR IN GIVIN G These charts provide a preliminary summary of fund-raising success during the 2009–10 fiscal year, as of March 2010.
WH O GIV ES T O WPI? Corporations $612,064
Other Organizations $103,660
1% 6% 11%
This issue of The Hill highlights the many recent reasons to celebrate WPI. It started on August 27, with the dedication of the new George I. Alden Life Sciences and Bioengineering Educational Center (see page 1). I cannot imagine a better way to begin the new academic year than touring these stunning new laboratories and celebrating WPI’s long tradition of educational innovation. The Alden Center emphasizes interdisciplinary teaching and learning in life sciences and bioengineering. I am confident that everyone who celebrated with us that day—students, faculty, alumni, and friends—left with a great sense of pride and gratitude toward the George I. Alden Trust, whose $11.5 million gift made this facility possible. A prominent Worcester industrialist, George I. Alden recognized the need for a new generation of leaders with the knowledge and wisdom to solve the challenges and harness the opportunities presented by the Industrial Revolution. He also understood the role WPI could play in shaping those leaders. For 28 years he taught mechanical engineering at WPI and is considered a driving force behind combining theory with practice in engineering education. Professor Alden’s approach to preparing leaders of the Industrial Age remains a cornerstone of WPI’s innovative curriculum, preparing a new generation of leaders who will help solve important problems of the Information Age. Professor Alden likely crossed paths on campus with student Robert H. Goddard 1908, and it is fitting that they are now forever connected in Goddard Hall. WPI was ahead of its time in Alden and Goddard’s day, and it continues to be ahead of its time today, thanks to the investment of alumni and friends like you.
Parents and Friends $4,552,594
WHERE DO YOUR WPI DOLLARS GO? Unrestricted current use (scholarships, faculty research, and student programs)
$1,056,192 Restricted current use $1,487,193
Campus and equipment 3.5% $355,613
Your investment in our faculty and students continues to yield remarkable results. Endowed professorships are critical to helping WPI attract and retain the highest quality faculty, such as Diran Apelian, Howmet Professor of Mechanical Engineering, who is WPI’s first professor to be inducted into the National Academy of Engineering. Scholarships enable the brightest students, those who are best equipped to take full advantage of the WPI Plan, to attend the university regardless of their financial background. Investments in our facilities help create the state-of-the-future learning environments required to challenge young bright minds. From the opening of the new Alden Center to the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Camp hosted by WPI for the first time last summer, we have more cause to be proud of WPI and to hope for a brighter future. Your contributions fuel this engine of hope, this incubator for new ideas and launching pad for innovations that will improve lives. There are always new challenges on the horizon, and your investment is vital. Thank you for helping WPI continue to make the world a better place.
15% 54% 17%
Designation pending $1,715,569
Endowment (financial aid and faculty and academic support)
Dexter A. Bailey Jr. Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations President’s Circle Member since 2006
Investing in scholarships yields rewarding dividends for alumnus
oncerned about the cost of higher education, Leo Douville ’39 has made a gift of $3.5 million to support the Sara and Leo Douville Endowed Scholarship. Douville’s commitment advances a critical fundraising priority at WPI—scholarship support. WPI currently provides an average discount rate of 42 percent on tuition and fees, totaling $37,440, leaving a gap of $15,724 per student. In addition, approximately 90 percent of our 3,391 undergraduates receive some form of financial aid (including student loans). Contributions from alumni and friends are essential to the university’s ability to attract and retain the best and brightest students, regardless of their financial circumstances. If students’ financial needs are met, they will be better able to take full advantage of the WPI Plan.
Douville has a personal understanding of the financial strain experienced by today’s college students and their families. “I struggled through financing my education, working all year round to earn money for my WPI education,” he says. “I want to make it easier for students to get a college education.”
Leo Douville ’39 (fourth from left) with friends and classmates at Reunion in June.
That struggle paid off for Douville, who credits WPI for his distinguished career at E. I. DuPont Nemours and Company. When he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1939, job opportunities in New England were scarce. Douville went to work in the aircraft industry in Baltimore. He then joined DuPont in 1946 and traveled the world for many years engineering and building textile and fiber plants. During that time, Douville recognized the value of his WPI education,
Continued on page 11
Jeanine Plummer installed as first Schwaber Professor of Environmental Engineering at WPI
eanine D. Plummer, director of the Environmental Engineering Program at WPI, is the first Alena and David M. Schwaber Professor of Environmental Engineering. The endowed professorship was established in 2008 through a gift from David M. Schwaber ’65 and his wife, Alena Schwaber. David Schwaber holds two degrees in chemical engineering: a bachelor’s from WPI and a master’s from Cornell University. He earned a PhD in polymer science at Akron University and spent most of his career at his family’s business, Monarch Rubber Company, where he rose to become president. At the company, Schwaber developed the revolutionary EVA cushioning for athletic shoes, but saw its business wane when American shoe manufacturing began moving to Asia. Drawing on the problem-solving skills he learned at WPI, he helped Monarch reemerge as a manufacturer of polymeric gasketing materials. As Monarch’s president, Schwaber continually faced the challenge of recycling manufacturing waste. The experience led to his passion for the environment and environmental engineering, and his desire to inspire that passion in others. “It’s important that scholars have a strong voice in helping solve the ecological and health crises in the world,” he says. “I’m excited about helping WPI rise to that challenge.” Faculty support is a key fundraising priority for WPI. Endowed professorships help the university attract and retain top faculty and advance faculty excellence in research and teaching. The Schwaber Professorship recognizes a distinguished scholar and educator in environmental engineering within the Environmental Engineering Program at WPI, which offers an interdisciplinary major that draws on the expertise of faculty members in chemical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, and mechanical engineering. Knowing that environmental engineers face challenges that span multiple disciplines, WPI’s program seeks to provide students with a broad background that integrates knowledge from the sciences, mathematics, engineering, and the humanities and social sciences. Plummer was appointed the program’s first director upon its inauguration in 2006. “Jeanine Plummer has established herself as leader and an outstanding professor through her exceptional teaching and her vitally important research,” says John Orr, WPI’s provost and senior vice president. “I am delighted
From left, Provost John Orr, Alena Schwaber, David Schwaber ’65, Professor Jeanine Plummer, and President Berkey at the installation of Plummer as the first Alena and David M. Schwaber Professor of Environmental Engineering
that we are able to recognize her accomplishments and her many contributions to the WPI community in this way, and I am deeply grateful to the Schwabers for making this endowed professorship possible.” Plummer, who joined the WPI faculty in 1999, received a bachelor’s in civil engineering from Cornell University and a master’s in environmental engineering and a PhD in civil engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In her research, Plummer explores factors that affect the quality of drinking water and innovative technologies for detecting and removing contaminants. This work has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In 2008 Plummer was named Professor of the Year for Massachusetts by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). WPI has also honored Plummer with the Board of Trustees’ Award for Academic Advising (in 2005) and the Board of Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Teaching (in 2006). “It is my hope that our environmental engineering students continue to show their passion for the environment through their careers, and become leaders in the field for future generations,” said Plummer at her installation. “Through the Schwaber Professorship, I hope to be able to play a small part in helping them to achieve their goals.”
Hoy installed as WPI’s first Paul R. Beswick Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
rank Hoy, an internationally respected authority on entrepreneurship, was installed as the inaugural Paul R. Beswick Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in WPI’s Department of Management during a ceremony held on campus in November—not long after BusinessWeek magazine ranked WPI’s part-time MBA program No. 1 in the nation. Hoy, who was most recently director of the Centers for Entrepreneurial Development, Advancement, Research and Support at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), also serves as director of the Collaborative for Entrepreneurship & Innovation (CEI), WPI’s nationally ranked entrepreneurship center. Hoy joined the WPI faculty in August 2009. The Beswick Professorship was established through the generosity of WPI Trustee Paul R. Beswick ’57 and his wife, S.K. (Siang Kiang). Beswick is the founder, president, and CEO of Beswick Engineering Inc., an engineering consulting firm headquartered in Greenland, N.H., with a branch office in Singapore. Founded in Beverly, Mass., in 1963, Beswick Engineering has grown from a small engineering consulting firm to an industry leader, known for developing innovative applications and serving dozens of high-tech and medium-tech fields, such as aerospace, biotechnology, bomb detection, computer chips, fuel cells, medical electronics, robotics, and toxic gas detection. Beswick Engineering has incorporated into its product line hundreds of items and built a customer base of more than 1,000 over the past 36 years. More than 50 of its products are proprietary designs and over a dozen are patented. Beswick, and Beswick products, have garnered numerous national recognitions and awards. “The culture of innovation at Beswick Engineering is no accident,” said President Dennis D. Berkey at the installation ceremony. “Paul’s nearly 50 employees—some of them fellow WPI alumni—credit him with creating an environment that allows others to do their best, an environment very similar to that at WPI, in which knowledge and know-how are valued and practiced.” Endowed professorships, like the Beswick Professorship, enhance WPI’s ability to recruit top faculty, such as Frank Hoy. Hoy is a world-class scholar and educator who is helping the university make entrepreneurship an integral element of its mission and instill the spirit of innovation that is necessary for students to succeed in today’s global innovation economy. “As illustrated by his many accomplishments, Professor Hoy embodies the WPI ideals of theory and practice and has been a wonderful addition to
(From left) S.K. Beswick, ChanLing Beswick ’11, Beswick Professor Frank Hoy, Patricia Hoy, and WPI Trustee Paul Beswick ’57.
our faculty and community,” said Provost John Orr. Hoy holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from UTEP, an MBA from the University of North Texas, and a PhD in management from Texas A&M University. He spent 10 years as a faculty member in the Department of Management at the University of Georgia, where he founded and directed the Center for Business and Economic Studies, coordinated the entrepreneurship curriculum, and served as director of the Georgia Small Business Development Center, one of the first in the nation to be certified by the Association of Small Business Development Centers. He was named the inaugural Zwerner Professor at Georgia State in 1988, and in 1991 returned to his hometown of El Paso, Texas, to join UTEP as a professor of management and entrepreneurship and dean of the College of Business Administration. Additionally, Hoy spent five years as chair of the Central European Small Business Enterprise Development Commission, created by Congress to work with the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland to establish networks of small business assistance centers. Hoy was drawn to WPI’s long-standing tradition of innovation and entrepreneurship and was impressed by how those ideals are tightly woven into the fabric of the university’s curriculum and community. But when he met Paul Beswick, Hoy knew he was meant to be at WPI. “When I met Paul, I knew that this person embodied what entrepreneurship is all about, what the notion of innovation is all about,” Hoy said. “It changed my view about leaving Texas—a sixth generation Texan—and coming to Massachusetts to fulfill what has turned out to truly be my destiny.”
S T U D E N T T R I U M P H S AT N A S A C O M P E T I T I O N A N D GIVES BACK TO WPI Paul Ventimiglia, an undergraduate student in robotics engineering at WPI, knows firsthand how financial support can create remarkable opportunities for WPI students to achieve. Ventimiglia is the leader of Paul’s Robotics, a team of students, faculty, and professional engineers who won the $500,000 top prize at NASA’s 2009 Regolith (moondust) Excavation Challenge in October. He has generously given back to the university that prepared him to meet NASA’s challenge, contributing $10,000 to WPI’s undergraduate robotics engineering program. WPI was the team’s chief sponsor, but Paul’s Robotics also received support from two local businesses (Barnstorm Cycles and Hydro-cutter) as well as the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ New England chapter. With this support, the team was able to design, build, and program the winning robot, which is known as “Moonraker 2.0.” Members of the team include: Mike Ciaraldi, professor of practice in WPI’s Computer Science Department; Colleen Shaver BS ’04, ’08 (MS), WPI’s manager of robotics initiatives; Brian Loveland ’07; Jennifer Flynn ’04; and Marc DeVidts, a Miami-based software developer, who was the team’s only non-WPI-affiliated member. Paul’s Robotics beat out 22 other teams of professional engineers and college and high school students from across the country to earn the top honor. Paul’s Robotics team after a triumphant showing at NASA’s 2009 Regolith Excavation Challenge
George I. Alden Trust
Continued from page 1
years ago,” said Susan Woodbury, chair of the Alden Trust, in her remarks. “The trustees are proud to be able to direct part of Mr. Alden’s legacy to WPI to help position it as a leader in the biosciences in Worcester, in the Commonwealth, and in the world beyond.” The 21,300-square-foot Alden Center features four floors of open, technology-rich spaces for undergraduate biology, biotechnology, biomedical engineering, chemistry, biochemistry and chemical engineering programs. By bringing together four departments into a single location, the facility promotes cooperation and collaboration across disciplines. The Center also features shared computer space, a classroom, instrumentation, and a variety of areas for project meetings and informal interactions among students and faculty. All its labs include screens and projectors that allow professors to work with students more effectively through the revolutionary Connected Lab technology and interactive media for laboratory teaching that WPI faculty developed through a grant from the Davis Educational Foundation. “The facility is designed for ultimate flexibility, maximum efficiency, and, more important perhaps, to foster collaboration and cooperation among the faculty and students working in those labs,” said Professor Jill Rulfs, associate department head for biology and biotechnology. Rulfs led the faculty committee that guided the renovation of Goddard Hall to ensure the best use of space and resources. She also emphasized the significant amount of space in the Alden Center dedicated to student-student and student-faculty interactions. Every floor is equipped with study lounges and tutorial spaces to support academic and social interaction, “to make the Center an academic home for our students.”
Students give the new facility high marks. “As a double major in chemistry and biochemistry, I know firsthand the transformation that has taken place in Goddard Hall to create the new George I. Alden Center. And I can say with confidence that this is a facility of which we can all be proud, a facility that matches the outstanding instruction we receive from our professors,” said Roseann Gammal ’10, vice president of the Student Government Association. Gammal noted her family’s long history with WPI—her grandfather, Charles Gammal ’20, was the first of several family members to graduate from the university. He was at WPI at the same time as Robert H. Goddard, the father of modern rocketry, and George I. Alden, who was a university trustee by then. Her grandfather, also a chemistry major and later an organic chemistry lab instructor at WPI, would be impressed by the new Alden Center and proud of the WPI of today, Gammal said. “Although the campus has undergone many physical changes, my grandfather and I have both experienced something that has remained constant over the years: a quality WPI education, grounded in a long history of excellence, devoted to the Two Towers concept of theory and practice, and dedicated to producing graduates ready to tackle some of the world’s most challenging problems.” One change since her grandfather’s days at WPI is the recent emphasis on the life sciences and bioengineering. In recent years, WPI has invested approximately $75 million in faculty, facilities, equipment, and staff in life sciences and bioengineering, most notably at the graduate Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center at Gateway Park. The opening of that facility in 2007 made significant academic space available on WPI’s main campus, thus paving the way for the creation of the George I. Alden Center. The Gateway Park facility is also considered a catalyst for the development of biotech and life sciences industries in Central Massachusetts. With Governor Deval Patrick’s focus on growing the life sciences industry in the state through the $1 billion Massachusetts Life Sciences bill signed in 2008, President Berkey said, “the timing of the Alden Trust’s investment in undergraduate life sciences education at WPI just couldn’t be better.”
george i. alden and his
A man of the Industrial Revolution, George I. Alden taught mechanical engineering at WPI for 28 years. Alden, an innovator and pioneering faculty member, was a driving force behind combining theory with practice in engineering education, an approach that continues to be a cornerstone of the WPI experience. WPI graduates, able to lead in the burgeoning Industrial Age, will be the future leaders in the Biotech Age, thanks to Alden’s philanthropic vision. The George I. Alden Life Sciences and Bioengineering Educational Center was created with an $11.5 million commitment from the George I. Alden Trust. Alden established the trust in 1912 for the general purpose of “the maintenance of some charitable or philanthropic enterprises” with particular expressed interest in “the promotion of education in schools, colleges, or other educational institutions,” as well as particular interest in WPI and two other named organizations. The trustees of the Alden Trust have given priority to higher education, predominately in support of independent undergraduate education, in smaller institutions with full-time traditional undergraduate enrollments of 1,000 to 3,000 students. The trustees focus their grant making on capital needs. They support institutions that demonstrate a combination of educational excellence, exciting programming, and efficient and effective administration. The trustees primarily support proposals that they feel will contribute significantly to the intellectual growth of students and will enhance an institution’s mission, with particular emphasis on Alden’s expressed desire to “do the greatest good to the greatest number of beneficiaries.” The Alden Trust is WPI’s most generous benefactor, committing a total of $19,577,085 over the past 80 years to help advance the university’s mission of preparing the next generation of leaders in engineering and science. In 1929, the Alden Trust made its first gift to WPI of $181,085 to establish the George I. Alden Fund. In 1970, the Alden Trust established the George I. Alden Chair in Engineering with a gift of $500,000. Since then, the Trust’s commitment to WPI has supported many capital projects aimed at advancing undergraduate teaching and learning. In addition to the Alden Life Sciences and Bioengineering Educational Center ($11.5 million), these include: Salisbury Hall renovations (1973-76, $750,000); Atwater Kent renovations (1979-82, $1 million); Fuller Labs construction and campus computerization (198587, $1.2 million); Alden Memorial renovations (1988-90, $1.64 million); Higgins Laboratories renovations (1993-96, $2.4 million); and Little Theatre funding (2004, $400,000).
“Many of the students who will work and learn in these laboratories will make important contributions as scientists, entrepreneurs, business leaders, and other professionals in the life sciences industry, on pressing problems in health and medicine and related opportunities in commerce,” he said. “It is indeed exciting to see how well our academic aspirations align with the national and global needs in health, medicine, and economic development.” Roseann Gammal, like her grandfather and other alumni family members, believes in this promise of a WPI education. “As a student, I believe in a WPI education. I’m living it, and I’m grateful for those like George I. Alden and the trustees of the Alden Trust who share that belief with me,” Gammal said. “With the George I. Alden Center supporting our work, WPI life sciences students will graduate prepared to live up to the WPI ideal of using engineering, science, and technology to create positive change in the world.”
Professor Jill Rulfs (left), associate department head for biology and biotechnology, shows features of the new undergraduate lifes sciences labs to guests at the Alden Center dedication.
NEW center for Excellence Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Fundraising launched for new Sports and Recreation Center Alumni and friends make leadership gifts to project
n November 18 WPI alumni and friends, student athletes, coaches, faculty, and staff gathered at Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots championship football team, to launch the fundraising efforts for the university’s new Sports and Recreation Center. Jamo Carr ’74 and Mary Anne Wood hosted the event, which featured an address by President Dennis D. Berkey and remarks by Jonathan Kraft, president and CEO of the Patriots. This special event came two weeks after the WPI Board of Trustees voted unanimously to proceed with construction of the 140,000 square-foot Sports and Recreation Center. WPI seeks to raise $30 million toward the center’s estimated total cost of $53.2 million. The center is a component of the university’s $200 million capital campaign, with a goal of $90 million to be raised for capital projects.
The new Sports and Recreation Center answers a compelling need on campus for premium fitness space for students, faculty, and staff. It will anchor the west side of the Quadrangle, literally and figuratively occupying a place at the heart of campus life. The center will include a four-court gymnasium, workout rooms, wellness classrooms, meeting spaces, a fitness center, and a natatorium housing a modern 25-meter swimming pool and spectator seating. The facility will also provide space where the WPI community and beyond can gather for large-scale events, such as robotics competitions, career fairs, and campus celebrations. Construction will begin following the 2010 Commencement in May, with the center to be completed by August 2012. The architect for the project is Cannon Design Inc., and the general contractor is Gilbane Construction Inc. “WPI students respond to challenge with unusual maturity. They channel their energies in remarkably creative ways. This is true in our classrooms, on our project teams, and on our sports teams. It is why sports and recre-
ation facilities are so important on our campus; they provide an indispensable context in which WPI’s culture of high achievement can find its physical expression,” says President Berkey. “We are not just building another gym. We are building a place for our community to come together – for competition, for camaraderie, for celebration. We are building a new setting for excellence.” The new center also will be built to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification standards from the U.S. Green Building Council, in accordance with the WPI Board of Trustees endorsement in 2007 of a policy calling for the design of all future buildings on campus to be environmentally friendly and meet LEED certification standards. WPI’s other LEED certified buildings include East Hall and Bartlett Center, the university’s admissions and financial aid building. At the time of the Board of Trustees’ vote on the project on October 30, the undergraduate Student Government Association presented WPI with a check for $31,000 to support the new Sports and Recreation Center, and the Graduate Student Association contributed another $10,000. Impressed by this show of support, a WPI trustee, who wishes to remain anonymous, is matching these student contributions to this important facility. WPI has also received several leadership gifts to the Sports and Recreation Center, from Barbara Donahue, Ellen and Stu Kazin ’61, and the Fred H. Daniels Foundation (see stories page 7 and 8). In addition, Carr and Wood have generously contributed $250,000 to the Center, and Elliot Whipple ’67 has given $25,000.
Above left: Architect’s rendering of the new Sports and Recreation Center Above right: From left, Jamo Carr ’74, Mary Anne Wood, New England Patriots CEO Jonathan Kraft, Catherine Berkey and President Dennis D. Berkey at Gillette Stadium for the launch of fundraising efforts for WPI’s new Sports and Recreation Center.
New Sports and Recreation Center receives a founding gift from Barbara Donahue Rowing tank honors memory of dedicated WPI alumnus
hen Barbara Donahue first learned about the proposed new Sports and Recreation Center at WPI, she knew exactly what she wanted to support. Thanks to Donahue’s generous gift of $400,000, the WPI crew team will train in a state-of-the-art rowing tank housed in the new Sports and Recreation Center.
vice president, and president of the Worcester County Alumni Association; and then as president of the WPI Alumni Association. He also participated in his reunion committees and Alumni Council. He helped guide the university as a trustee from 1973 to 1993, and as a trustee emeritus from 1993 to 2003. Through his service on the board, Jim touched nearly every aspect of the university, from budget and investment to academic planning and student affairs.
Barbara Donahue’s gift—the first major gift to support the new center—honors her late husband, Jim Donahue ’44, as well as his fondness for WPI and passion for rowing.
Philanthropy always has been a top priority for the Donahues, and they have touched many lives through their gifts to Worcester-area organizations. WPI has been fortunate to be the beneficiary of their generosity on many occasions. Their first gift to the university, Barbara explains, was the Irving James Donahue Jr. Scholarship Fund, established in 1976.
“Jim brought rowing to WPI,” she says, explaining that he became a rower in high school in Shrewsbury, Mass. When he came to WPI, however, he discovered that there was no crew. With the entrepreneurial spirit that has always been typical of WPI students, he pulled together eight of his fellow students and borrowed a shell and a coach from Shrewsbury. He rowed on that start-up team for two years until he joined the Navy V-12 program at WPI, which did not allow the men to go off campus. After earning his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, Jim served in the Pacific Theater during World War II, eventually as chief engineer of the USS Stockton. After the war, he started his career as a metallurgist with American Steel & Wire and eventually founded his own company, Donahue Industries Inc. He served first as president and treasurer of the company, and then chairman and treasurer until his retirement in 2003. Donahue Industries produced metal and plastic components for the grinding wheel industry, groove gauges, metal stamped parts and assemblies, and stamped metal components for the wire brush industry. Over the years, the Donahues remained active members of the WPI family. Jim served as chair of the Alumni Fund Board; as secretary, treasurer,
“Jim went to WPI on a four-year scholarship from American Steel & Wire,” Barbara says. “He knew the value of scholarship support.” Each year, she continues the tradition of having dinner with the scholarship recipients and telling them about the man behind the fund. “I don’t want them to feel that this is just a fund. Someone worked for this, someone shared this with them,” she says. “And they may be inspired to do the same. Jim always told the students, ‘The only thing I want you to do is help someone else the way someone helped you.’” In addition to their scholarship fund, the Donahues have donated crew shells to WPI and funded an erg room and crew offices at the university. Barbara is certain that Jim would be happy about her decision to fund the rowing tank in the new sports and recreation center. Crew, she believes— and Jim also believed—can change lives. “In high school, students learn rowing and by the time they’re seniors, they love it. They look for colleges and universities that have rowing, and the colleges look for experienced rowers. This opens a lot of doors for young people,” Barbara says. “It betters their lives.”
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Ellen and Stu Kazin provide leadership support to Sports and Recreation Center
ecognizing the importance of the new Sports and Recreation Center to educating the whole student at WPI, Stu Kazin ’61 and his wife, Ellen, recently supported the project with a generous gift of $300,000.
Stu Kazin is retired senior vice president of World Wide Operations and Administration for Lotus Development Corp./IBM in Cambridge, Mass. Kazin was responsible for Lotus’s worldwide manufacturing, distribution and customer operations as well as for worldwide information systems and operations, applications development, end-user computing, and telecommunications. He also oversaw all corporate services worldwide. IBM purchased Lotus in 1995, and Kazin became responsible for all the software manufacturing and delivery for both the physical and electronic software business for IBM. He retired in April 1999 after 14 years with Lotus Development Corp./IBM. The new Sports and Recreation Center, which will now include the Ellen and Stu Kazin ’61 Conference Room, is about strengthening the WPI community, Kazin says. This is a long-standing interest for Kazin, who has played an active role in the life of his alma mater. He served as chair of the Annual Fund Board from 2006 to 2009, and was also an Alumni Council Class Representative. He helped plan his 40th anniversary class reunion in 2001, has been a class agent for many years, and is a member of the PolyClub. Kazin is currently a member of WPI’s Campaign Steering Committee, helping to guide and raise funds for the university’s $200 million capital campaign, and is a newly elected member of the WPI Board of Trustees. Kazin notes that traditionally, WPI students and alumni identify with their academic department, athletic teams, and fraternities, but have not necessarily identified with the university as a whole. He points to the Campus Center, which opened in 2001, as an effective tool in fostering school identity, pride, and community by providing a common meeting ground for students, faculty, and staff. “The Sports and Recreation Center represents another place where students can get together. It’s another facility that fosters community,” Kazin says. Kazin, who played varsity soccer during his freshman year at WPI and then became the varsity basketball team manager after being sidelined on the soccer field by a knee injury, also recognizes the importance of sports and fitness to the residential university experience. “What convinced me to support this project is how important athletics and fitness has become to students today,” he says. “In my time, fitness meant getting out of bed.”
President Berkey with Ellen and Stu Kazin ’61 at the 2009 Presidential Founders Dinner
At WPI, nearly 60 percent of students are active in sports. In addition, overwhelming numbers of WPI students recognize personal fitness as a major contributor to quality of life and are accustomed to including exercise in their regular routines. Kazin adds that sports and recreation facilities are key factors prospective students and their parents consider when deciding where to apply to and attend college. The new center, he notes, also represents an opportunity to continue WPI’s recent success in recruiting women students. Harrington Auditorium, the last athletics facility built at WPI, was completed in 1968—the first year undergraduate women were admitted to the university. No athletic facility at WPI has been designed with the needs of women in mind. “I’d like to see WPI attract more women students, especially as we move toward more biological education,” Kazin says. But the motivation behind the Kazins’ gift to the new Sports and Recreation Center is the facility’s promise of enriching the WPI educational experience for all students. “As we look at this project, we think it is very important for student life at WPI, and we wanted to make sure it’s supported,” Kazin says.
S P O R T S A N D R E C R E AT I O N C E N T E R G A I N S S U P P O R T F R O M D A N I E L S F O U N D AT I O N The Fred H. Daniels Foundation has given $300,000 to WPI’s new Sports and Recreation Center, supporting the university’s plans to expand opportunities for student achievement and enhance its competitive position in the marketplace. ”The Daniels Foundation’s leadership gift represents an important step forward for this important facility,” says President Dennis Berkey. “The Sports and Recreation Center promises to be a stunning and vital addition to WPI’s beautiful campus and a facility that the WPI community will enjoy for years to come. I am confident that it will be a point of pride for the Daniels Foundation.” The Daniels Foundation, which focuses primarily on organizations in Worcester County, has a long connection to WPI. Fred Harris Daniels graduated from the university in 1873. He served as chairman of the Board of Engineers of the United States Steel Corporation, chief engineer of the American Steel & Wire Company, president of Washburn & Moen Company, and a member of the board of directors of the Massachusetts Employees’ Insurance Association and of Norton Company. Daniels held 151 patents, many of which revolutionized the steel industry process of manufacturing. Daniels’s three sons—F. Harold Daniels, a former WPI trustee, Dwight C. Daniels, and Clarence W. Daniels—established the Daniels Foundation in 1949. WPI’s Daniels Hall residence was dedicated in honor of their father in 1962. In 2003 the Daniels Foundation gave $90,000 to support the university’s Project-Based Learning Community academic initiative, in Daniels Hall.
Edna and Douglas Noiles inspire young people in engineering, science, and math
dna and Douglas Noiles ’44 recognize that the drive for discovery is sparked early in life. They also have a keen understanding of the role public education plays in inspiring that drive in young people. Toward that end, the Noileses have made a generous gift of $1 million to establish the Edna T. and Douglas G. Noiles ’44 Endowment for K-12 Outreach at WPI. This new endowment will continue the university’s comprehensive efforts of raising pre-college student awareness of and preparation for study in the fields of engineering, science, computer science, and mathematics in college. The Noileses’ commitment empowers WPI to build upon its growing reputation for providing high-quality science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) educational programming for teachers and students—programming that has been fostered by the Noileses for several years. In 2003 they generously funded the establishment of the Office of K-12 Outreach at WPI, which is dedicated to enhancing the university’s commitment to bolstering STEM education at the K-12 level. In particular, this office helps expose girls and young students of color to the excitement and creativity inherent in science and engineering and encourages them to consider careers in these fields. Thanks to the Noileses’ support, more than 1,000 teachers have participated in one of the many programs offered through the Office of K-12 Outreach, which in turn has impacted more than 48,000 students. Their lifetime generosity toward WPI totals $2.9 million.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, Doug taught engineering at WPI for three years before entering the manufacturing sector and making his mark on mechanical and biomedical engineering. During his career, he served as vice president of engineering at US Surgical, where he led the company in the research and development of orthopedic implants and surgical devices. He was a co-founder of Joint Medical Products Corp. in Stamford, Conn. The company developed and manufactured hip and knee joint replacements and was later merged into Johnson & Johnson in 1995. Doug is a renowned inventor and consultant, best known for his work perfecting artificial hip and knee joints. The patent for his artificial hip joint that revolutionized hip replacement was the center of a 15-year lawsuit that hinged on Doug’s sketch of the new joint component on a piece of memo paper. The sketch was signed and dated, Edna explains, but not witnessed, as required to establish its validity. However, she had picked up Doug’s sketch and wrote on it to determine their checkbook balance. Her figures on the sketch matched numbers in the checkbook where the associated date matched the date of the sketch. This provided enough documentation to ultimately win the legal battle and award the patent to Doug. Edna’s only regret in this fortunate twist of fate, she explains with a smile, is the mathematical error in her calculation that was on display for so long during the legal proceedings.
“We hope there will be an awakening to what education can provide young people,” Doug says. “A kind of celebration of what education can be for young people,” adds Edna.
Although Edna and Doug have always The Noiles Endowment for K-12 Outfelt a fondness for WPI, Doug’s thrivreach will provide critical operational ing career prevented them from becomsupport for WPI’s K-12 Outreach Ofing very involved with the university for fice, including support for the director many years. When Joint Medical Prodof K-12 Outreach. The aim of the enucts was purchased by Johnson & Johndowment is to increase the technological son, the Noileses took the opportunity literacy of K-12 students, teachers, and to reconnect with WPI. Around that administrators with the goal of stimulattime, they also rekindled their interest ing their participation in the STEM in education. Disheartened by the defields; to increase the number of cline of public education, they looked qualified mathematics, technology, for ways to help. They first turned to Edna and Douglas Noiles ’44, longtime friends and benefactors of WPI pre-engineering, and science teachers; educational programs sponsored by and to improve the quality of educaengineering societies. However, Doug tional instruction in these disciplines in public and private schools. The notes, those programs mainly targeted students beginning in Grade 7. Noileses hope their gift will reveal and bolster the potential of public “We felt it was the little kids who were being cheated,” Doug says. “They education to inspire and motivate the next generation of engineers and were not being given the opportunity to grow.” scientists. Edna, who is also a longtime supporter of education programs at her alma “We hope there will be an awakening to what education can provide mater, Elon University, and Doug are confident that WPI’s K-12 Outreach young people,” Doug says. “A kind of celebration of what education can programs can give young people those opportunities to grow. be for young people,” adds Edna. “Education is a celebration,” says Edna, recalling a line from one of their Doug deeply appreciates the schooling he received growing up in Hudson, recent letters to the university. “And that seems so true,” Doug adds. Mass. “The education I had in the public school system was first class, and then WPI was also first class,” he says. Doug came to WPI in 1940, but left after his sophomore year to serve as a Marine in the Pacific Theater during World War II. He met Edna toward the end of his military service, and their romance led them to marry before Doug returned to WPI to finish his degree.
Hill Former NASA astronaut Bernard Harris works with students at the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp hosted at WPI this summer.
10 Professor exemplifies philanthropy at WPI Each year, scholarship donors, student recipients of these funds, faculty, and administrators gather at WPI for a dinner to celebrate an important tradition of philanthropy at the university: the Scholarship Program. The annual Scholarship Program Dinner honors the many donors who have created scholarship funds to help qualified young men and women attend WPI. To date, these donors have provided WPI with scholarship endowments totaling more than $11 million. These 340 separately named funds annually generate $5.5 million in aid for more than 680 awards. Considering that about 90 percent of WPI’s 3,391 undergraduates now require some form of aid (includ-
WPI’s ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Camp encourages youth to pursue future careers in STEM fields
hanks to an $80,000 grant from the ExxonMobil Foundation, WPI hosted for the first time the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp last summer. WPI Trustee Mike Dolan ’75, senior vice president of Exxon Mobil Corporation, was instrumental in bringing the Harris Camp to WPI. This free two-week residential camp, also sponsored by the Bernard Harris Foundation, allowed 48 underrepresented middle-school students (24 girls and 24 boys) from Boston, Worcester, and Southbridge, Mass., to experience WPI’s state-of-the-art robotics, science, engineering, and mathematics programs. Now in their fourth year with 32 other sites nationwide, the Harris Camps provide a fun-filled setting for children to gain a deeper understanding of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and to promote future careers in the STEM fields. Harris, a former NASA astronaut and the first African American to walk in space, created the camps with support from ExxonMobil. More than 1,500 students across the country took part in this year’s camps and explored themes such as Mission to Mars, Revolutionary Robotics, and Energy and Motion. WPI, home to the first-in-the-nation undergraduate degree program in robotics engineering, featured the Revolutionary Robotics theme. Students attended daily classes in natural science, engineering, mathematics, and technology taught by WPI faculty and secondary school teachers. Students also conducted experiments; completed individual, team, and group projects; went on weekly field excursions; and heard guest speakers. The Harris Camp complements WPI’s already well-respected K-12 Outreach program, focused on introducing young people to the STEM fields. Dozens of WPI programs, including other summer camps, provide myriad learning opportunities and resources for teachers and students in kindergarten through high school.
“The success of this program is due to the support from ExxonMobil and our partnership with renowned universities across the country,” Harris says of his science camp. “It’s rewarding to realize how many kids we can reach by providing a new and fun experience involving science while raising awareness about math and science careers.” ExxonMobil supports programs and organizations that focus on improving mathematics and science education. The company also sponsors programs to increase the number of highly trained mathematics and science teachers, provide professional development and training opportunities for teachers, and attract students to pursue science- and math-related courses in middle school, high school, and college. Rex W. Tillerson, chairman and chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil Corporation, said the camps help inspire young minds. “ExxonMobil is dedicated to supporting programs that generate interest in math and science education and provide career options for students,” says Tillerson. “Our country needs future scientists and engineers and these camps are an investment in that future.”
Professor Alex Emanuel addresses scholarship donors and student recipients at the 2009 Scholarship Program Dinner.
ing student loans), endowed scholarships play a vital role in keeping the university’s doors open to all qualified students and in maintaining WPI’s competitive position. The last Scholarship Program Dinner highlighted a role model of philanthropy. Alex Emanuel, a professor in WPI’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department since 1974, received the Chairman’s Exemplary Faculty prize in 2008. The award, established by current chairman of the WPI Board of Trustees Donald K. Peterson ’71, recognizes and rewards faculty members who excel in all relevant areas of faculty performance. Emanuel decided to give the $10,000 prize to WPI for student scholarships in electrical and computer engineering. He followed the example set by a beloved professor, Constantin Budeanu, at the Bucharest Polytechnic Institute, where Emanuel began his engineering studies. Every year from 1936 to 1948, Emanuel explained in his remarks, Budeanu provided a scholarship for a deserving student. “When I received the Chairman’s Prize last year, I concluded that it is high time to do what Budeanu did for his beloved students,” said Emanuel, who made the gift with his wife, Rodica. He stressed that many students must work 10 or 20 hours or more a week to support themselves through college. “It is hard to study when one is tired, hungry, cold, and unsure of tomorrow. It is difficult to reach your true potential and earn good grades and retain what you study when you are not at peace with the world. We live through a difficult time. Our students need our help now more than ever.”
A Year in Review 1 Alumni and friends view plans for the
new Sports and Recreation Center. 2 Alumni and friends enjoy the Fidelity
Club at Gillette Stadium. 1
2 3 Participants in the ExxonMobil Bernard
Harris Summer Science Camp at WPI. 4 Middle school students work on an engi-
neering problem during the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Camp at WPI. 5 Roseann Gammal ’10 addresses an
audience of alumni, faculty, students, staff, friends and the trustees of the George I. Alden Trust at the dedication of the George I. Alden Life Sciences and Bioengineering Educational Center. 6 Students express their gratitude to the
alumni and friends who provide the scholarship support that makes their WPI education possible. 7 Undergraduates enjoy the Scholarship
Reception, which brings together recipients of endowed and annual scholarships. 8 President Berkey presents a citation to
Paul Beswick ’57 at the installation of Frank Hoy as the inaugural Paul R. Beswick Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. 9 David Schwaber ’65 addresses alumni,
faculty, students, and friends at the installation of Jeannine Plummer as the inaugural Alena and David M. Schwaber Professor of Environmental Engineering.
Photos by Rob Carlin and Azure Collier 8
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During his tenure at WPI, President Berkey has focused on continuing the university’s tradition of educational innovation, making significant investments in the life sciences at the graduate and undergraduate levels, the first year experience, the establishment of academic deans, and new cutting-edge undergraduate majors in robotics engineering and interactive media and game development. His emphasis on the need for state-of-the-art facilities to support WPI’s academic programs and student life has brought about the Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center at Gateway Park, the George I. Alden Life Sciences and Bioengineering Educational Center, the East Hall residence for students, and the soon-to-be-built Sports and Recreation Center. President Berkey also continues to be an advocate for alumni involvement in the life of the university. He has invested in staff in the Alumni Relations Office and in alumni programming, all in an effort to facilitate more opportunities for meaningful engagement and outreach to alumni and friends worldwide.
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both the technical expertise he gained in electrical engineering and the perseverance he learned by working to finance his education. His experience at DuPont also taught Douville the value of knowing how people think, understanding other cultures, and knowing how to communicate with people who are different from himself.
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Writing: Judith Jaeger
Photography: Robert Carlin, Azure Collier, and Tammy Woodard
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Berkeys’ gift supports future WPI presidents
PI President and CEO Dennis D. Berkey and his wife, Catherine, have given $100,000 to the university to establish The Dennis and Catherine Berkey President’s Discretionary Fund. Their generous gift supports the work of future WPI presidents by empowering them to provide both strategic and spontaneous investment in promising programs and initiatives.
“WPI has come to mean so much to Cathy and me, and we wanted to demonstrate our commitment to this university – and its future – with a strategically targeted gift,” President Berkey says. “Cathy and I specifically wanted to provide future presidents of WPI with purely discretionary funds to encourage them to give unexpected recognition and reward for deserving faculty or students, empower them to stimulate interest in a new area by sponsoring someone to attend a conference, or even just enable them to host a visiting speaker. Often it is the small gesture that has the greatest impact, and this fund will be a constructive reminder to my successors of the importance of these acts.” The Berkeys’ gift provides future presidents with the same flexibility to support strategic and innovative activities. “WPI was founded by those who led by example, and Dennis and Cathy Berkey continue to foster this university’s foundation of leadership,” says WPI Trustee Robert Martin ’75, chair of the Board of Trustees’ Advancement Committee. “As we continue to build our fund-raising program, their commitment to WPI is inspirational, and their efforts will make an important difference to the future of this institution. We are deeply grateful for this generous and thoughtful gift.” Dennis Berkey was appointed WPI’s 15th president in 2004, following more than 30 years of service in a variety of higher education positions. He is an award-winning teacher and the author of several mathematics textbooks. His published research is in applied mathematics.
President and Mrs. Berkey greet alumni on campus
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