A major goal of the Michigan Tech Fund is to further the tradition of faculty excellence by providing endowed chairs, faculty development funds, visiting lectureships, and research support for faculty already at Tech, as well as for those who might come to the University.
Endowed Chairs and Professorships
What's so special about an endowed chair? It's not just the money. After all, universities routinely spend a good deal to hire very smart, very qualified faculty. What difference could it make if the dollars come from an endowment or the general fund?
A big difference, as it turns out. Endowed chairs are a lure for leading academics, and their benefits to a university go far beyond the actual day-to-day accomplishments of the chairholder.
Thanks to a gift from Michigan Tech alumnus Dick Robbins '56 and his wife, Bonnie, two distinguished researchers were named to sustainability chairs. Rolf Peterson, School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, holds the Robbins Chair in Sustainable Management of the Environment. Craig Friedrich, Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, holds the Robbins Chair in Sustainable Design and Manufacturing.
"Dick and Bonnie Robbins recognize that our students’ understanding of the fragile nature of the world around them depends on their direct experience with today's environmental challenges, both in the classroom and in research," said Michigan Tech President Glenn D. Mroz.