Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

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Coast to Coast East: Signature Performance by Josh Groban

Category: Regional
October, 2019
EMPAC Concert Hall
Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D., President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Welcome to Rensselaer — and welcome to EMPAC (Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center)! I am thrilled to have you join me on the 20th anniversary of my presidency at Rensselaer. Tonight, we also are pleased to have with us the person for whom this remarkable facility is named — a platform dedicated to the intersection of the arts, science, and technology. Of course, I am speaking of Curtis R. Priem, of the Class of 1982, and parent of a current sophomore, who is here, along with his wife, Cindi, and his son, Gabriel. Curtis, Cindi, and Gabriel, will you please stand to be recognized?

I am so pleased to celebrate both the 11th anniversary of the opening of EMPAC, and my 20 years of service to Rensselaer. It truly is a special weekend, and I am honored to be celebrating with you, our special members of the Rensselaer community.

Earlier this evening, we also honored exceptional individuals, a stand-out corporation, and an organization making a difference in the lives of children from under-served communities. All of them have made transformative contributions to the world and to the Rensselaer community. I congratulate again our Presidential Lifetime Achievement honorands, and their guests, who are joining us this evening — Mr. Tom Capek of the Class of 1986 and parent of a junior student, and Dr. Jeffrey Evenson, both representing Corning Incorporated, and, most especially, Kathleen and Paul Severino of the Class of 1969.

I also would like to recognize the recipient of the Global Game Changers Award — Dr. John Bennett of the Class of 1974, representing CDPHP, along with his colleagues who are with us this evening. We are extremely grateful for all of Dr. Bennett’s efforts in making this weekend a tremendous success.

Finally, I would like to thank our corporate sponsors who have contributed to making this evening, and the entire celebratory weekend, a resounding success.

Tonight, during this evening of celebration, we also celebrate the birth of a new partnership. Thanks to the dedication and commitment of Mr. Priem, we are honored to be here tonight in partnership with Mr. Josh Groban, and the Find Your Light Foundation, founded by the Groban Family Foundation, whom we also honored earlier this evening as a Presidential Lifetime Achievement honoree. Josh’s commitment to the importance of the arts in education is inspiring. Given our focus on the art in and of science, and the science in and of art, that commitment has allowed for a natural partnership to forward the education of young people in the arts (and for Rensselaer, its linkage to science and technology) — from the earliest stages, through higher education.