University of Rochester


BME–Optics to be Named for Goergen

Robert Goergen ’60

Trustee Robert Goergen ’60 hopes that the first new building on the River Campus since 1987 will spark innovative connections between faculty, researchers, and students in disciplines that have traditionally been very strong at Rochester.

Inspired by that vision, Goergen has pledged $10 million toward the construction of a new home for programs in biomedical engineering and optics.

When it opens in spring 2007, the biomedical engineering–optics building will be named for Goergen, a past chairman of the Board of Trustees.

“The building will have an impact beyond bricks and mortar,” Goergen says. “It will be a wonderful hub of activity for a field of growing importance that will transform lives—not only on campus, but around the world.”

In making the announcement this spring, President Joel Seligman lauded Goergen’s longstanding support for the University and its strategic goals.

Goergen, a member of the board since 1982, previously gave $5 million toward the extensive renovation of the athletic center (named for him in 2000) and made another substantial gift to create the Goergen Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, presented annually by the College since 1997.

“Bob Goergen’s contributions have been pivotal to the recent progress of our University,” Seligman says. “As board chair for 12 years, he formed a remarkable partnership with President Tom Jackson that was crucial to the great steps forward made by the University.”

Goergen, the chairman and CEO of Blyth, Inc., of Greenwich, Connecticut, says he hopes that his support can help transform the experiences of future students.

“As with the athletic center and the teaching awards, I see the biomedical engineering–optics building as a way to improve the scholarship, research, and general experience of Rochester students and faculty in a tangible way,” he says.

The $37.7 million, 100,000-square-foot building will house scientists studying both optics and biomedical engineering and facilitate their collaboration. The building will include extensive research facilities, undergraduate and graduate teaching labs, state-of-the-art demonstration halls, a 155-seat lecture hall, and the new Center for Institute Ventures.