Worcester, MA—June 10, 2021—Andrew Aberdale, a Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) alumnus (Class of 1989), business leader, and active supporter of a wide range of university initiatives, has been named the next chair of the Board of Trustees. A member of the board since 2012 and current co-vice chair, Aberdale will succeed outgoing chair Jack Mollen. His appointment takes effect July 1, 2021.
A former CFO of Target Hospitality, Aberdale’s professional expertise focuses on financial and growth companies. He also spent 12 years at W. R. Grace in various engineering, manufacturing, and plant management roles. He holds a BS in chemical engineering from WPI and an MBA from St. Mary’s College of California. In addition to his tenure as co-vice chair of the Board of Trustees, he was one of the original members of the of the WPI Tech Advisors Network (TAN), a group of more than 80 alumni and friends who are experienced entrepreneurs, innovators, and mentors and who offer their expertise and networks to support other WPI innovators and entrepreneurs. Through this work and other endeavors, Aberdale has forged solid relationships with faculty, staff, students, and others in the broader WPI community. He has also been a leader in supporting the university’s goals of increasing global impact, bringing more women into STEM, diversifying the student body, and infusing inclusion and equity into all aspects of campus life.
“Andy’s commitment to WPI, his professional acumen, his experiences, and his perspective will serve the university well in his role as board chair,” said WPI President Laurie Leshin. “As the university continues to transform lives, turn knowledge into action to confront global challenges, and revolutionize STEM through our distinctive project-based learning and research, Andy’s guidance will be critical. He understands and appreciates the intelligence, dedication, and potential within our students, faculty, and staff. As a business leader, he also understands the need for universities to strengthen existing and forge new relationships so we can better prepare more people for the work of the future.”
“I received an incredible education at WPI," said Aberdale, "and I consider it a major part of my success—so it’s always been important to me that I find ways to give back to a place that gave me so much. I’m humbled to be given the responsibility of serving as chair of the Board of Trustees and I am very much looking forward to continuing to help the university achieve its goals in this critical time for higher education.”
Aberdale’s ties to WPI run in the family. His wife, LindaLeigh (Richert) Aberdale '88, serves as an executive board member of the Women’s Impact Network, and co-chairs the WPI Business School’s Dean’s Council of Strategic Advisors. The couple’s son, Andrew Aberdale II, earned his bachelor’s and master’s (’18, '20) degrees at WPI. All three are dedicated alumni, which speaks to another one of Aberdale’s missions: for the past several years he has been working to increase lifelong alumni engagement, helping graduates realize the value of staying connected.
Board member and chair of the selection committee Michael Dolan, says Aberdale was the unanimous choice. “He has consistently demonstrated passion for education, and for WPI specifically. I know he will do a wonderful job leading the Board as the university heads into an exciting future.”
Aberdale will succeed Jack Mollen, who has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 2007 and has served as chair since 2016.
“I want to express my sincere gratitude to outgoing chair Jack Mollen for his partnership and for the thoughtful way he has engaged with the administration and the faculty for the benefit of our students, the university, and the entire WPI community,” said Leshin. “I will be ever grateful for his stewardship through the university’s response to the pandemic, as well.”
Aberdale added, “Jack Mollen has been an outstanding leader, with vision and fortitude through both good and challenging times. We have benefited from his wisdom and experience over the years. I personally am extremely thankful for his friendship and guidance, which has allowed me to take on both the honor and challenge of being the next board chair.”