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Welcome Remarks

Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D.
President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Design Your Future Day
Darrin Communications Center
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Welcome to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and thank you for coming. It is a special pleasure to see so many bright young women with interest, ability, and aptitude in mathematics and science. It is a double pleasure to see interested parents, as well.

There has been a good deal of discussion in the media, of late, about whether or not women have the capacity to do math and science. I would say that your presence here today is a testament that any notion that they cannot is absolutely not true.

Young people like you — young women like you — are the key to our future — in science and technology — and beyond.

What many do not fully realize, however, is that the economic future of our nation, and its security, rest on the intellect, talents, and leadership of its youth, especially those with interest and talent in mathematics, science, engineering, and technology. This talent propels the innovation and discovery which has given us the benefits and quality of life we enjoy. And, innovation and discovery drive our economy and our global leadership.

Rensselaer is a special place where your special talents and interests are valued and nurtured, expanded and encouraged. Rensselaer is a great technological "theater," where young people can experiment and discover and learn.

This is a day to discover what that would be like. You will meet some of our students, faculty, and graduates who are doing extraordinary things. You will get to do some extraordinary things, yourselves. Use this day to imagine yourself here, engaging your talents, designing your future.

To begin, we will hear from an exceptional, and exceptionally talented woman who attended a university not unlike this one, and is now Vice President and Global Business Manager of Texas Instruments, Incorporated. Martha Sullivan holds a Bachelor's of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Technological University. Since joining Texas Instruments in 1984, she has held various positions, including Automotive General Manager for North America, Automotive Marketing Manager, and Detroit Sales Manager.

Her past and present positions outside Texas Instruments include Ford International Supplier Advisory Council (ISAC), Board of Trustees at Kettering University, and member of the Key Executive Council at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Texas Instruments develops and produces innovative technologies in semiconductors, sensors and controls, and educational and productivity solutions. Texas Instruments is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with operations in 25 countries. Texas Instruments was co-founded by a Rensselaer Alumnus — J. Erik Jonsson.

Martha Sullivan is married with two children. She brought her daughter with her today so that she, too, can "design her future."

Please join me in welcoming Martha Sullivan.

Source citations are available from the division of Strategic Communications and External Relations, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Statistical data contained herein were factually accurate at the time it was delivered. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute assumes no duty to change it to reflect new developments.

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