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April 17, 2008


Orr Named Provost, Senior Vice President

President Dennis Berkey announced on April 7 the appointment of John Orr as the university’s provost and senior vice president. The appointment follows an intense, yearlong, nationwide search. Provost Orr built his distinguished career at WPI over the past 31 years.

As WPI provost, Orr is responsible for all of the university’s academic and research programs, and as senior vice president he will serve as the senior member of the president’s staff. His primary charge will include reviewing the undergraduate curriculum to ensure its excellence, strengthening core academic and research areas, recruiting and retaining outstanding faculty, and broadly supporting the university's continuing increases in quality and stature. For the past year, Orr served as provost ad interim.

View From the Top — of East Hall

Work continues at East Hall, WPI’s new residence hall. Brickwork is complete, windows are installed, and the “green” roof installation is under way. The first floor will house the Office of Residential Services, meeting rooms, technology study suites, a fitness room, music practice rooms, a game room, laundry room, and bicycle storage, as well as the “back of house” support space. The apartments are on the upper floors

The 188-space parking garage came together in only a couple weeks. Work will continue there with electrical work, lighting, plumbing, and installation of an elevator.

The recent room lottery has accepted reservations for all 64 four-bed apartments in the environmentally friendly LEED silver-rated building, which will house 232 students when the building opens in August.

Top, Fred DiMauro, assistant vice president for facilities, stands on East Hall’s roof with the city as the backdrop. Bottom, Fred shows the staff of @WPI a student apartment in East Hall.

“John Orr is an excellent scholar, a distinguished engineer, and a talented leader,” President Berkey said. “For the past year, he has served as provost ad interim with great energy and distinction. During his time in that role, he gained valuable experience and demonstrated a clear understanding of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for WPI. Widely admired for his tireless work ethic and deep devotion to the university, John is superbly qualified to serve as provost. I look forward to working in close partnership with him.”

Said Orr: “WPI is far more than a place of employment for me; it is a home. I have spent the past 31 years of my career here because I believe wholeheartedly in WPI’s motto, ‘Theory and Practice.’ Solutions to all of the biggest problems facing our world, such as hunger, healthcare provision, the energy crisis, and sustainable living, will require the efforts of individuals who truly understand the principles of science and engineering, as well as their impacts on individuals and society. WPI empowers its students to drive these much needed changes, and it is my privilege to work with our talented faculty, staff, and students.”

Bowling League Winners Announced

The HVAC team of Gary Weagle, Dave Lindberg, and Dick Houle took top honors in the WPI Faculty / Staff Bowling League, which wrapped-up its 2007-08 season earlier this month.

This year, the fifth in the league’s existence, Bowling Center Manager Ed Lorion created two divisions, Red and Blue to accommodate the many people interested in joining the league.

The HVAC team took top honors for the Blue League, while French Connection (Terry Pellerin, Bob Pepin and Tom Moreau) was the top team in the Red League. HVAC defeated French Connection in a championship roll-off and awards luncheon on April 2.

The complete results:

Blue League:

HVAC Bowling Team

Ed Lorion presents the award to the HVAC team: Gary Weagle, Dave Lindberg, and Dick Houle.

French Connection Bowling Team

Team French Connection - Bob Pepin, Terry Pellerin, and Tom Moreau

Red League:

Around Campus

2nd Annual Relay For Life April 18-19

WPI has organized the university’s 2nd annual Relay For Life, the American Cancer Society’s signature fund-raising activity. The overnight event will be held April 18 and 19 and is designed to celebrate survivorship and raise money for research and programs. Teams made up of students, faculty, and staff will camp out on the Quad and take turns walking or running around it.

More than 400 WPI community members have already registered. Teams have thus far raised $20,000 for the fund-raiser. Last year $60,839 was raised; this year’s goal is $75,000.

The event will start at 6 p.m. Friday and will end at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Goddard Day Celebrated

Kicking off WPI’s year-long observance of the centennial of Dr. Robert H. Goddard’s graduation from WPI in 1908, the Student Government Association sponsored on April 9 a “Goddard Day Celebration” to honor the “Father of Modern Rocketry” with a campus-wide barbecue. The event was open to the public, and complimentary T-shirts reading “He Built It... We Rock-it” were given away.

WPI is planning a year-long schedule of events to commemorate Goddard and his contributions to science, including the first annual Commemorative Water Rocket Competition, sponsored by the Physics Department, which will be held on Saturday, June 7 (rain date June 8), on Alumni Field.

Project Presentation Day Held

More than 250 student team projects were presented on April 15, during WPI’s annual Project Presentation Day, which is designed as a showcase for the exceptional work students complete for their MQPs.

Teams from every academic discipline—including interdisciplinary programs in Interactive Media & Game Development, Environmental Engineering, and Professional Writing—presented the results of their projects to their faculty advisors and project sponsors in formal presentations or poster sessions.

Kudos to Schachterle

In July 2007, Lance Schachterle, associate provost for academic affairs, was elected president of the newly reorganized James Fenimore Cooper Society for a two-year term.

Computer Tip

Safe Surfing!

If you are entering confidential information on a Web page, making a purchase online with a credit card, or performing other private online transactions, you want to ensure that the page you are using is encrypted. How do you know whether a Web page is secure? Here are two clues:

In the address bar, the Web address prefix should be https (rather than just http). In Internet Explorer, a lock appears to the right of the address. Clicking on this lock will reveal details about the identity of the Web site and its encryption.

Even if a site is “secure,” it is not guaranteed to be safe to use. This confirms that the information you send is encrypted, but does not evaluate how the recipient uses the data once decoded. So remember not to send information via sites that you do not trust!

Most important, never use hyperlinks included in emails to get to the companies and organizations you are trying to reach. For sites where you will enter personal information, visit those sites manually by typing their website address into the address bar at the top of the browser. This will help ensure you are visiting the correct business and not a copycat. This is crucial since many phishing sites have legitimate looking SSL encryption, but often use misdirection in the URL to work their phishing schemes.

Publications and Presentations

Biomedical Engineering

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Computer Science

Fire Protection Engineering

First Year Experience

Humanities and Arts

Interdisciplinary Global Studies Division

Mechanical Engineering

Provost’s Office

WPI Rallies Against Cancer

The Jimmy Fund's Rally Against Cancer transcends longstanding baseball alliances at WPI. Co-captains Jon Bartelson (IT) and Charna Westervelt (Marketing and Communications) led the rally for this worthy cause. WPI faculty, staff, and students raised over $1,200 this year for the Jimmy Fund’s effort, which coincided with Red Sox Opening Day.


Note: Information for the calendar comes from the Web-based WPI Events Calendar, which is powered by the Social Web. To have your events listed in @wpi, please enter them in Social Web and request that they be added to the appropriate WPI calendar. Visit Social Web to learn how.


Thursday, April 17

Friday, April 18

Saturday, April 19

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Last modified: September 26, 2014 14:21:52