As a twice interim president, a trustee, and the university’s first mechanical engineering professor, George Alden is firmly rooted in WPI’s proud history. He was a true man of the Industrial Revolution, and in-line with university founder John Boynton’s directive to create, discover, and convey knowledge for the betterment of society, Alden established the George I. Alden Trust with a specific interest in promoting education. The Trust, which has provided generous philanthropic support to the university for well over a century, helps ensure Alden’s life’s work will forever carry forward his legacy.
The George I. Alden Trust’s most recent gift to WPI came in the form of a $100,000 grant for COVID-19 related challenges, as part of a grant campaign to address pandemic-related financial issues in Worcester and local communities. A remarkable total of $5.6 million in grants was awarded to local early, secondary, and higher education institutions as well as community and cultural organizations.
Warner S. Fletcher, chair of the George I. Alden Trust, recently shared the following, “The Alden Trust was pleased to be able to make this most recent grant to WPI. It has always been a priority of the Trustees to support local Worcester organizations that we feel are making a positive difference in our home community, and certainly never more than during our COVID experiences! WPI has long demonstrated its commitment to educating students to think about their place in making the world better and in solving some of our greatest global challenges. We were happy to support that important mission, and are impressed at how many WPI community members have stepped up to help others in our community during this pandemic.”
The George I. Alden Trust is one of the university’s most generous benefactors. Among its numerous gifts to WPI over many decades, the Trust has supported Alden Memorial and the Alden Life Sciences and Bioengineering Educational Center in Goddard Hall.
In 2016, the Trust realized a $3 million challenge grant toward the Foisie Innovation Studio, a state-of-the-art home for WPI’s distinctive project-based approach to STEM education. And in 2019, it committed to a $5 million challenge grant to support campus facilities and WPI’s newest academic building, which is expected to open in January 2022. In its three-part challenge, the Alden Trust has given WPI until March 31, 2023 to raise $20 million for campus facilities and the new building from alumni and trustees. With a focus on the “smart world” the new building will include classrooms, labs, faculty offices, and student support services. In alignment with WPI’s commitment to sustainability, WPI will seek LEED certification for this building.
As a fierce advocate for education, Alden specifically championed education in engineering to ensure young people could become effective contributors to society. WPI is especially proud to be a recipient of George Alden’s great philanthropic legacy.