Alumnus gives $1.7 million for two professorships
by Sarah R.
Buchholz, Chronicle staff
and Education faculty and staff were literally thanking their lucky
stars at a March 31 reception honoring alumnus Steven Gluckstern,
'74G, whose donation is establishing two distinguished professorships.
[From left] President William M. Bulger chats
with alumnus and donor Steven Gluckstern, '74G, and former
dean of Education Dwight Allen at a March 31 reception celebrating
Gluckstern's gift of two professorships. (Ben Barnhart photo)
Gluckstern, who earned a doctorate at
the School of Education, gave $1.7 million, which was supplemented
by $1.3 million in state funds through the UMass Endowed Professorship
Incentive Program, to create one professorship in Education Policy
and another in Physics. These are the first endowed professorships
in Physics and Education at the University. "Glückstern"
is German for "lucky star."
Gluckstern created the Dwight W. Allen
Distinguished Professorship in Education Policy and Reform to honor
former dean of the School of Education Dwight Allen. Allen presided
over the school from 1968 to 1975, a period of rapid growth and a
dramatic increase in national prestige. He remained affiliated with
the University until 1978, when he went to Old Dominion University,
where he is currently Eminent Professor of Education Reform. Allen
recently co-authored a book, "American Schools: The $100 Billion
Challenge," with alumnus Bill Cosby, '72G, '76G.
"I think it
was nice that the chair is dedicated to education policy and reform,"
said Andrew Churchill, research coordinator at the Center for Education
Policy. "That's an area that the school has been looking to build
strength in. It has strong faculty that are researchers in education
policy and education reform, so I think this is a validation of the
dean's efforts to build on those strengths."
The Robert L. Gluckstern Distinguished
Professorship of Physics honors another Gluckstern, Steven's father,
Robert, a contemporary of Allen's who served as provost from 1969
to 1975. He left the University to serve as chancellor of the University
of Maryland system. Returning to teaching and research in 1982, he
studied accelerator physics, winning the U.S. Particle Accelerator
School Prize in 1999. Gluckstern donated the $3,000 prize to the American
Institute of Physics Center for History of Physics. While on campus
for the celebration of son's gift, he delivered a lecture at a special
colloquium in the Physics Department.
"Both professorships come at a
really good time for the School of Education," said dean Bailey
Jackson. "Our movement in the national ranking has improved significantly,
and we hope that this will help us to move up more in that ranking.
"It is also a jumping-off point
for a new campaign to hopefully get a new building and will help us
move to be more technologically relevant to the K-12 arena. I'm very
proud personally to have this first at the school to come during my
watch as dean, and I hope that this will be the first of many."
"It's a wonderful opportunity for
the campus to celebrate fine people," said Robert Hallock, interim
dean of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. "And it will help us
join lots of other major institutions that have named professorships
that are used to retain and attract first-class faculty."
"Both of these men were and still
are extraordinary teachers," said Steven Gluckstern of his father
and Allen. "They exemplified a lot of what I wanted to be when
I grew up: intellectually honest, inquisitive, risk-takers, ...extraordinarily
generous with time and resources." Most important, he said, they
modeled treating others fairly, thoughtfully and consistently.
"This moment means a lot to me
because UMass means a lot to me," Allen said. "The neat
thing is to see your students be so successful."
"I'm delighted, very honored and
proud of my son who's made all this possible," Robert Gluckstern
said. "UMass was a very important part of my career."