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Gleason Foundation gives $6 million to engineering college

The Gleason Foundation is giving $6 million for facilities expansion in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering. The gift supports RIT’s “re-engineering of engineering education” initiative emphasizing an undergraduate, multidisciplinary team-based approach to product development, modeled after industry.

James S. Gleason, chairman of The Gleason Foundation

New facilities will be built for the multidisciplinary team-based product-development initiative and for computer engineering studies. Facilities for RIT’s cross-disciplinary microsystems engineering doctoral program, launched in 2002 as the first of if its kind in the nation, will be expanded and enhanced.

The gift also supports anticipated growth in RIT’s undergraduate and graduate engineering enrollment, which has increased more than 30 percent in the past five years.

“We have watched with excitement as the Kate Gleason College of Engineering has risen to among the top 10 engineering colleges in the United States, a truly impressive achievement,” says James S. Gleason, chairman of Gleason Corp. and The Gleason Foundation and an RIT trustee. “Under the leadership of former dean Paul Petersen and the innovative direction of current dean Harvey Palmer, the college has earned and deserves the applause and support of The Gleason Foundation.”

To date, the Gleason Foundation, Gleason Corp. and the Gleason family have given RIT more than $32 million, more than any other group. A 1998 gift of $12 million, the largest gift ever received by RIT at the time, supported renovation and expansion of engineering college facilities. The foundation also supported creation of the Gleason Microcomputer Lab and funds the Kate Gleason Scholarship and three endowed Gleason professorships.