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Rensselaer Alumni Association Awards Demers Medals

The Rensselaer Alumni Association awarded Albert Fox Demers Medals to Robert “Gus” Albern ’54, at left in photo, and Napoleon Ferrer ’55 at the association’s 21st annual awards dinner held on campus June 8. The Demers Medal, the second highest award that the RAA bestows, recognizes outstanding loyalty and service to the Institute. Also honored with Demers Medals but unable to attend were Robert Jones ’57 and Myles Brand ’64.

Albern has been active as an admissions volunteer, RAA board member, class officer, and chair of the Annual Fund Leadership Gift Committee, among other activities. Ferrer has worked to help attract promising engineering students to Rensselaer from Latin America. He serves as a strong advocate for the Institute among his country’s government, business, and educational leaders.

Both Ferrer and Albern have provided leadership to regional alumni chapters. Albern served as president of the Delaware Valley chapter when it was named Chapter of the Year. Ferrer was instrumental in founding the Venezuela Alumni Chapter and has promoted the establishment of other chapters in Central and South America.

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Dave Haviland ’64 Receives RAA’s Highest Honor

The Rensselaer Alumni Association bestowed its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, on David Haviland ’64 at the association’s awards ceremony June 8. The DSA was created in 1967 by the RAA Board of Trustees to recognize distinguished service by alumni or friends to Rensselaer, to a profession, to the nation, or to humanity.

Haviland retired in December 2005 after 40 years of service to Rensselaer as professor, associate dean, dean of architecture, research center director, vice president for student life, and vice president for institute advancement.

He has been an active alumnus and benefactor, as well. His service has included membership on the RAA Board, reunion planning, chairmanship of the RAA Campus Life Committee, and many years on the Annual Fund Leadership Gift Committee.

“That he has accomplished so much for Rensselaer in so many different capacities is a testament to his clear grasp of the Institute values and the high value he himself places on service to his alma mater,” said President Shirley Ann Jackson, who presented Haviland with the award.

In 2005, Haviland was awarded only the second Trustee Medal in the Institute’s history, which saluted him “as a student leader, a beloved professor and mentor, a trusted administrator, counselor, friend and true son of Rensselaer.”

Alumni News

Haviland, who is known for his eloquence and skill at choosing the right words for any document or occasion, kept his acceptance remarks brief.

“I am not only honored and humbled to be among the group who have received this award; I am proud to be a part of this group,” he said. “Rensselaer is home to extraordinary students who grow into extraordinary alumni. It has been my privilege to serve them, you. I accept this honor on behalf of all who serve Rensselaer.”

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Rensselaer (ISSN 0898-1442) is published in Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter by the Office of Strategic Communications and External Relations, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180-3590. Opinions expressed in these pages do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or the policies of the Institute. ©2007 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.