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2005-2006

WPI to Dedicate New Welcome Center for Prospective Students and Visitors

Bartlett Center is Home to the University's Admissions and Financial Aid Offices

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/June 7, 2006
Contact: WPI Media Relations, +1-508-831-5609

WORCESTER, Mass. - Bartlett Center, the new admissions and financial aid building at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)., will be dedicated on Thursday, June 8. The two-story, 16,589-square-foot structure, located at the east end of an expanded Quadrangle, is a dramatic new entry point for the WPI campus and an attractive and functional welcome center for prospective students, their families, and other visitors. The dedication ceremony begins at 3:30 p.m.

Designed by CBT/Childs, Bertman, Tseckares Inc. in Boston, Bartlett Center is the first WPI building to be registered with the U.S. Green Building Council and has been designed as a "green building" using sustainable design principles under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.

The building is named for entrepreneur James L. Bartlett Jr., WPI Class of 1939, and his wife, Shirley V. Bartlett, whose generous donation made the building possible. A mechanical engineer by training, Jim Bartlett has founded six companies in a wide range of technical fields. WPI recognized his career achievements by awarding him an honorary doctorate in engineering in 1998. He received the Robert H. Goddard Alumni Award for Professional Achievement in 2004.

Bartlett Center houses the Office of Undergraduate Admissions on the first floor and the Office of Financial Aid on the second floor. Both floors feature spacious reception areas, conference rooms, interview rooms, and staff offices and work areas. A 42-seat multimedia presentation room is located on the first floor. A window wall system rises from the first floor to the ceiling of the second floor on the building's west side, providing striking views of the Quadrangle and the hills beyond the campus.

The brick exterior, designed in the Georgian Revival style, echoes elements of nearby buildings, including Sanford Riley Hall, WPI's first residence hall, and Higgins Laboratories, home to the Mechanical Engineering and Fire Protection Engineering departments. A spacious plaza on the west side overlooks an expanded campus quadrangle.

"This new building offers a warm, welcoming experience for first-time visitors, especially prospective students and their families," says Kristin Tichenor, associate vice president for enrollment management. "It's a great place to get a first glimpse of our beautiful campus, to learn about our innovative academic program, to meet with our admissions and financial aid staffs, and to begin a tour of our grounds and facilities."

"Through their extraordinary generosity, Jim and Shirley Bartlett have helped make possible a striking new entry point to our campus," notes WPI President Dennis D. Berkey. "But just as important, by helping to consolidate our admissions and financial aid operations, the Bartletts have enabled us to offer our visitors a more efficient and rewarding experience. We are deeply grateful to these unselfish and visionary philanthropists and proud to count them among WPI's most loyal friends."

About the Bartletts

James L. Bartlett Jr. '39 has spent more than six decades transforming his technical expertise and business experience into pioneering developments in a wide range of fields. After earning a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at WPI, he held research positions with B.F. Sturtevant Co., Trane Co., and AiResearch Manufacturing Co. He then helped found Cosmodyne Corp., which became one of the nation's largest manufacturers of equipment for storing, transporting, and handling liquefied gases. Following a brief stint as a rancher, he returned to the business world as president and owner of Hydranautics, a manufacturer of equipment for offshore drilling rigs and shipyards, and reverse osmosis desalination systems. In 1984, when Hydranautics became a subsidiary of Rohm and Haas, he founded his own company, Bardex Corp., to continue his interest in making equipment for offshore platforms and heavy-load moving. An earlier reacquisition of Cosmodyne led to its consolidation with other cryogenic companies; Bartlett later formed a new company to make membranes for ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, and reverse osmosis. More recently, he was involved in the formation of Pacific Design Technologies Inc., a company focused on the design and construction of fluid circulation cooling systems for military and space applications. Shirley Bartlett is a descendent of Martha Boynton, cousin of John Boynton, one of WPI's founders. The Bartletts have generously supported the university and its students for many years. Their gifts include a scholarship fund that gives preference to American citizens of Hispanic descent and leadership support for the Campus Center. The lobby of that building is named in their honor.

About Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1865 in Worcester, Mass., WPI was one of the first engineering and technology universities in the nation. WPI's 18 academic departments offer more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science, engineering, technology, management, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts, leading to the BS, MS, ME, MBA and PhD. WPI's world-class faculty work with students in a number of cutting-edge research areas, leading to breakthroughs and innovations in such fields as biotechnology, fuel cells, nanotechnology, and information security. Students also have the opportunity to make a difference to communities and organizations around the world through our innovative Global Perspectives program. There are over 20 WPI project centers throughout North America and Central America, Africa, Australia, Asia, and Europe.