Estelle Carver made the donation on behalf of herself and her late husband, Howard, former president and chief executive officer of Gleason Corp.
The gift establishes the Estelle H. and Howard. F. Carver Engineering Learning Center in RIT's James E. Gleason Building, which underwent a recently completed $15 million renovation. The center, adjacent to a new informal student-gathering area, provides formal study space where faculty assistance is usually available. The state-of-the-art facility includes high-tech enhancements including Internet connections for students' laptop computers.
"The Carver Engineering Learning Center is outstanding for productive interactions between faculty and students," says Harvey Palmer, dean of the Kate Gleason College of Engineering. "Thanks to the generosity of the Carver family, RIT's engineering college has a facility to support innovative activities fostering student learning and ensuring the success of our students."
The trust will result in a donation of as much as $600,000 over 10 years to RIT's engineering college. Of that, $250,000 has already been earmarked for the new learning center.
Howard Carver served as president and CEO of Gleason Corp. from 1967 to 1975 and chairman of the firm until 1977. He was the first person outside of the Gleason family to hold the company's top position. He was a member of RIT's Board of Trustees from 1961 to 1976. A scholarship established in his honor in 1991 supports engineering students.
The Carvers were charter members of the Nathaniel Rochester Society, a group of more than 500 alumni, parents and friends of RIT who support the university and student scholarships. Estelle Carver is past president of the Women's Council of RIT.
Note: According to a national survey by U.S. News and World Report, RIT's Kate Gleason College of Engineering ranks fourth in the nation among undergraduate engineering programs, offering degrees in computer, electrical, industrial and manufacturing, mechanical, microelectronic, and software engineering, applied statistics and engineering science.
RIT was the first university to offer undergraduate degrees in microelectronic and software engineering. Founded in 1829, RIT has one of the nation's oldest and largest cooperative education programs.