Professor Honored

Endowment fund named for project center director

February 19, 2014
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To honor a longtime WPI professor, the Art Gerstenfeld Endowed Fund for the WPI Wall Street Project Center has been created.

The idea for the fund came from Mark Rice, dean of the School of Business, with support from lead donor Scott Burton ’84, who is managing director at JP Morgan Chase. Rice says the endowment fund will help WPI strengthen its presence within the financial sector.

“The Wall Street Project Center is one of our most successful MQP programs. It is a natural for WPI to have a stronger presence in the finance and technology space,” he explains.

The goal is to grow the fund to $500,000, says Rice, who notes that the current balance is about $13,000, with commitments in place for an additional $40,000. He adds that once the goal is met, the endowment should yield about $25,000 a year in expendable funds. In addition to Burton’s contributions, donations will be solicited from Wall Street Project Center alumni, as well as from project sponsors.

Burton says he was on board as soon as Gerstenfeld’s name was mentioned. “Art is just a great guy and a huge contributor to the success of [the project center], so it all sounded good to me. It’s partly to acknowledge Art and partly to honor him through philanthropy to fund the project center.”

He echoed Rice’s belief that the endowment should help expand the WPI brand into new geographic and business areas. “WPI has been well known within New England but not as well known outside of it.” Burton thinks the fund will help expand the “general brand awareness of WPI” beyond the region.

It’s partly to acknowledge Art and partly to honor him through philanthropy to fund the project center.

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