The Campus Chronicle
Vol. XVI, Issue 27
for the Amherst campus of the University of Massachusetts
Apr. 6, 2001

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Alumnus gives $1.7 million for two professorships

by Sarah R. Buchholz, Chronicle staff

Bulger, Gluckstern and Allen

[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)

Physics 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.

     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.

ROBERT GLUCKSTERN

Robert Gluckstern

     "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."
 
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