Community Announcement

DEPARTMENT(S): 
April 7, 2017

Dear WPI community,

I am writing to let you know that we are expecting additional media coverage in the coming days regarding one of the university’s alumni and long-time benefactors.

As you may know, Robert Foisie has been an engaged member of our community since he first arrived as a student in 1952.  As an undergraduate, Bob received a scholarship that made it possible for him to attend college.  He went on to become a highly successful innovator and entrepreneur, and he credits WPI for much of his success.

Over the years, Bob and his family have been generous philanthropists with a singular focus on funding scholarships for WPI students in need, making it possible for nearly 1,000 students to attend WPI.

Upcoming news reports may focus on personal disputes involving the Foisie family, including allegations in two recently settled Nevada lawsuits where members of the family alleged that Mr. Foisie had wronged them in various ways.

We don’t know whether any of the allegations are true or false, but I want to assure you that we are taking the situation seriously. While other universities and nonprofits have faced issues related to donors or major gifts, this is new territory for WPI.  We are following this closely and will take action, if necessary, to ensure that we are aligned with best practices.

Regardless of what the news media may report, I want to emphasize that the newest campus building is on track and will remain so.  Support for the building came in large part from the 1,300 donors who contributed generously in response to the Alden Trust Challenge, and full funding to complete construction is in place.

WPI is a special place on the cutting edge of both education and research. We are enabled in our mission by the strong support of our students, faculty, staff and alumni around the world.  I am extremely grateful for this support.

Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Laurie