2002

Albert G. Anderson, Jr.

Albert G. Anderson Jr., Head Librarian and Professor at WPI for 29 years died Sunday, February 17, 2002. He graduated from North Dakota State University and received an MA from the University of Wyoming in 1953, and a masters degree in library science from the University of Illinois in 1956. He joined WPI in 1963 to create a new centralized library to replace the several departmental libraries then in existence. The George C. Gordon Library was dedicated on October 28, 1967. Al Anderson retired in 1991. A resolution of the WPI faculty follows.

The faculty of Worcester Polytechnic Institute notes with sorrow and great sense of loss the passing of our friend and colleague, Albert G. Anderson.

Al Anderson arrived at WPI in 1963 with a dual appointment as faculty member and Head Librarian. Al's mission was to create a new library system for the then-scattered departmental libraries and a small reading room in Alden Hall. With a generous gift from the Gordon Estate, Anderson was charged with overseeing the design and construction of a new library building. With imagination, competence, and good judgment, Al assured not only a good design and placement of the new building, but a concept that would influence the academic direction of WPI, a prelude to the broad educational reforms that would take place at this institution in the following decade.

Anderson's clear vision for a library at the core of the academic enterprise allowed him to keep the construction true to his design, assuring that every aspect would be of the highest quality and that funds would be available for continuous upkeep.

On October 28, 1967, the Gordon Library was dedicated and Columbia University poet Mark van Doren was invited to deliver the keynote address. In language worthy of a poet, van Doren noted the facility's unique facilities: a home for the College Computer Center, 24 hour study room, micro-form storage facilities, seminar rooms, and museum-quality display areas which Anderson had insisted upon and fought determinedly to include and retain.

In subsequent years, Al Anderson was in the background of operations at the new library. He continued to insist on an appropriate and quality operation. He was proudest of the superb staff, which he recruited, the fights for adequate funding, which he waged so successfully, the significant gifts, which he solicited, and the bringing of balance and breadth to the library's collections.

Many at WPI do not remember Al now, but all of us benefit from his legacy. Albert G. Anderson was one of the architects of the new WPI. Therefore, be it resolved that we, the members of the faculty of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, express our sincere gratitude and admiration for his dedication and service, that this resolution be inscribed on the records of the Institute as a memorial to our beloved colleague, and that a copy of this resolution be delivered to his family.

Patrick P. Dunn

Patrick P. Dunn, associate professor of history at WPI died Sunday, July 14, 2002. Patrick earned his bachelors degree from Marquette University; his Masters degree from Duke University, and his doctoral degree from Duke University. He joined our faculty in 1974, was granted tenure in 1980 and received the 1988 WPI Trustees Award for Outstanding Teaching. He also created the first web page for his department, Humanities and Arts, and was part of a delegation to Pushkin, Russia when it was named Worcester's sister city. He is survived by his mother and a son and daughter. A resolution of the WPI faculty follows.

The Faculty of WPI notes with sorrow and a great sense of loss the death of our friend and colleague, Patrick P. Dunn. A historian trained in Russian history, Patrick Dunn was a passionate advocate of the Humanities at WPI who meticulously organized and executed his courses so that students had maximal access to his thinking; he always made his extensive notes immediately available to his students and was, in fact, one of WPI's earliest advocates of the Internet, posting all of his lectures on it, with links to the sources of his expertise and research. He pioneered the controversial use of psycho-history in his courses and research on the19th century Russian intellectuals Belinski and Bakunin. He was instrumental in the creation of WPI's global history offerings. A profound sense of social responsibility and commitment also led him to instigate and advise a series of model IQPs on the use of appropriate technology in developing countries. In 1988 he won The Trustees Award for Outstanding Teaching, which recognized the rigor and depth of his tireless, student-centered approach to instruction. Beyond the campus, he was proud to have helped to initiate and sustain the sister-city project twinning Worcester with Pushkin in the former Soviet Union.

In Department meetings Patrick Dunn was a humane, compassionate, unclouded voice that with startling quickness divined the full implications of a proposal and measured those against his unwavering advocacy of both the WPI Plan and humanistic inquiry at WPI. Vigorously argumentative he softened his positions with humor, natural grace, and an often outrageous delight in puns. The Department will miss the clarity, independence, and force of his perceptions. Hundreds of transfer students will miss the care and attentiveness and flexibility he brought to his role of assessing credits for their transfer work.

Patrick Dunn received his BA from Marquette, where he played varsity football and became an avid sports fan-one who had played on scrimmage teams within the NFL's Greenbay Packers. He received his MA and Ph.D. from Duke University in 1967 and 1969, and joined WPI's faculty in 1974. He taught for eight years in the Frontiers Program and served on dozens of departmental and faculty committees including the very first committee giving out the Award of 1879 for the best Sufficiencies. When, more recently, debilitating disease struck him, Patrick Dunn demonstrated the tenacity and sacredness with which he regarded teaching by continuing to instruct students to within three months of his death.

Therefore, let it be resolved that we, the members of the faculty of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, express our sincere gratitude and admiration for his dedication and service to his profession, to our university, and its students, and that this resolution be inscribed on the records of the university as a memorial to this colleague, and that a copy of this resolution be delivered to his family.

Denise W. Nicoletti

Denise W. Nicoletti, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at WPI, died Monday, July 22, 2002 in an automobile accident. Denise, who earned her bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees from Drexel University, joined our faculty in 1991 and was granted tenure in 1997. She was the founder and director of Camp Reach, a two-week long residential program for seventh grade girls established in 1997. She is survived by her husband Richard, and three children. A resolution of the WPI faculty follows.

We, the faculty of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, note with sorrow and a great sense of loss, the tragic and untimely death of our friend and colleague, Denise W. Nicoletti.

For eleven years she was a member of this faculty, the first and only tenured female faculty member in the history of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. She, together with Chrysanthe Demetry, founded Camp Reach, which will be among her lasting legacies at WPI. She also founded WECE (Women in Electrical and Computer Engineering). She made major contributions to knowledge in her discipline. She brought the outside world of engineering and of life into her classroom She connected with her students on a personal as well as a professional level. She, more than any other individual, was responsible for the academic success of the first blind student to graduate in electrical engineering at WPI.

She taught us all, faculty, staff and students, lessons in life, in good humor, in recognizing that which is truly important, and in triumph over adversity and loss. She taught us to "Reach" in all that we do – to do many different things and to strive to do them better and better.

Therefore, let it be resolved that we, the members of the faculty of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, express our sincere gratitude and admiration for Denise Nicoletti's outstanding service to our university, to its students, to her profession, and to her community. Let it also be resolved that this resolution be placed in the permanent records of this faculty, and that a copy be delivered to her family.

Donations may be made in Denise's name to:

Camp Reach Fund

WPI
100 Institute Road
Worcester, MA 01609

Nicoletti Children Scholarship Fund

c/o Bill Cole
UBS Paine Webber
10 Chestnut Street Suite 600
Worcester, MA 01608

 
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