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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Building the Third-Century Campus

From the President's Desk

October 6, 2017

To: The Rensselaer Community
Re: Building the Third-Century Campus

To the wonderful Rensselaer community:

The third pillar of our upcoming capital campaign is modernizing and equipping our campuses for our third century.

While attracting the best students and the most talented faculty is crucial, Rensselaer requires more than talent to be transformative in the world at large: we must have the right land, buildings, and infrastructure to undergird the education and research that occurs here. Our academic facilities must enable the radically innovative, technology-intensive Rensselaer pedagogy. Our research laboratories must have cutting-edge capabilities, and the flexibility to support explorations we cannot yet imagine today. The residential and recreational facilities for our students must contribute to a vibrant living and learning environment.

Our previous capital campaign allowed us to renovate our existing facilities, to improve student life with the East Campus Athletic Village, and to build magnificent new platforms for multidisciplinary research—including the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, the Center for Computational Innovations, and the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies. We also renovated, repurposed, updated, and refurbished much of our physical plant, while vastly expanding and upgrading our systems and technological infrastructure.

However, the transformation of our Troy campus is not yet complete.

To ensure our leadership into our third century, we need to bring together Rensselaer scientists, currently spread across the campus, into a state-of-the-art Center for Science with advanced laboratories, research, and teaching spaces. This Center will serve as a great crossroads for the multidisciplinary collaborations that characterize Rensselaer research; raise our research productivity, rankings, and visibility; make room for the pioneering faculty we recruit and the talented students who want to learn from them; and allow us to advance groundbreaking investigations addressing the greatest of global challenges. We also must expand and update facilities for Engineering and the other schools at Rensselaer.

Our upcoming campaign also will allow us to complete a second phase of our East Campus Athletic Village (ECAV), to support both athletic competition—and all of the many lessons in leadership arising from it—as well as a healthy living and learning balance for all our students. This proposed expansion will include an indoor Olympic-quality swimming pool, tennis courts, practice and playing fields for field hockey and lacrosse, and an indoor field house for track and field. These professional-quality facilities will allow Rensselaer to host regional, national, and international athletic tournaments. As we all know, athletics is a great force for community, for the spectators as well as for the players. In building Phase II of ECAV, we will deepen that sense of community—as well as encourage our students to grow in every aspect of their lives. As we grow, we must grow out student housing as well, while continuing to renovate and update existing student housing.

At Rensselaer, our forebears gave us a magnificent setting for living, learning, and exploring, on the hill overlooking the city of Troy. With our capital campaign, we will extend their wisdom into the 21st century—and provide the physical embodiment of the intellectual and spiritual excitement that is Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.