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Gifts to the Rensselaer endowment secure the university’s future in the long term, and in the more immediate future, speed us toward full implementation of The Rensselaer Plan 2024. Growing the endowment, through new gifts as well as investment return, is an essential component of the plan.

An unrestricted gift to endowment is perhaps the strongest vote of confidence a donor can make in an institution. Such gifts provide a steady and flexible source of income that can meet the most pressing needs of the university at any given time — whether to increase student scholarship aid, undertake new research, hire faculty, support athletics, upgrade facilities, or respond to emerging societal needs.

Rensselaer offers a number of opportunities to name facilities, laboratories, centers, residence halls, departments, or schools in recognition of the extraordinary and crucial support your philanthropy provides.

There are many planned giving options available to donors interested in supporting the Rensselaer endowment, including gifts that cost nothing to make today. These include: gifts through your will; making Rensselaer a beneficiary of your tax-deferred retirement account; and making transfer-on-death (TOD) gifts from your savings account or brokerage account.

Scholarships and Fellowships

Building scholarship support within our endowment helps attract the very best students and ensures that they are able to attend, regardless of their ability to pay full tuition.

More than 90 percent of our students receive some sort of financial aid. Yet our endowed scholarship resources leave us well behind competing institutions.

Financial support for graduate students is equally critical to the success of the entire academic enterprise. Two-thirds of our graduate students receive financial support from fellowships, teaching assistantships, and research assistantships. To build our graduate programs in both size and quality will require greatly increased resources in financial aid for graduate students.

An endowed scholarship (unrestricted) may be established for a minimum gift of $200,000, and a restricted scholarship fund may be established for $250,000, to ensure a student’s future promise.

Your support of a student is truly appreciated and you are afforded opportunities to interact with your student throughout the year.

Named Professorships and Constellations

Rensselaer faculty receive prestigious honors such as the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development awards, and many are members of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences, and other eminent professional organizations.

Endowment for faculty is critical at all levels, in every school, and in each department – for the bright junior faculty member just making a mark in education and building exciting new research programs, to the more senior professors and internationally-renowned scholars working at the frontiers of research questing after new knowledge. Endowments are also critical in enabling the teacher-scholar whose dedication to innovation in the classroom ensures that fresh ideas are infused in the curriculum, and that new and exciting ways of delivering education enrich the student experience at Rensselaer.

Named professorships – in particular, fully endowed chairs – are the most effective means of ensuring that top scholars come to Rensselaer and stay here. A named professorship honors the faculty member who holds it, the donor who funded it, and the institution that brought them together. It provides the essential financial resources for creative research and innovative teaching, and it distinguishes the holder as a leader among peers, both on campus and in the broader academy.

Faculty Constellations – are multidisciplinary teams of senior faculty, early career faculty, and graduate and undergraduate students. The constellation faculty features three or more outstanding stars in a particular research field. These research fields build upon existing core strengths in microelectronics and microsystems, advanced materials, nanotechnology, and advanced scientific computation, modeling, and simulation. A constellation goes well beyond an investment in a single world-class faculty member. Taken together, constellations are a critical mass of outstanding faculty, who, in partnership with existing Rensselaer stars, will transform the Institute and lead it to its rightful place as an international leader among research universities. Learn more about specific faculty constellations.

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