University of Rochester

Robert Goergen Awarded Dean's Medal

November 11, 2010

The first Dean's Medal given by Arts, Sciences and Engineering at the University of Rochester has been awarded to businessman and philanthropist Robert B. Goergen of Greenwich, Conn. The award recognizes extraordinary service, philanthropy, and leadership, as well as dedication and commitment to the University. It is among the highest honors given by the school.

Goergen graduated from the University of Rochester in 1960 with a bachelor's degree in physics cum laude and went on to earn a master's in business administration from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the founder, chairman, and chief executive of Blyth, Inc., one of the leading marketers of candles, home fragrances, and home décor products in the world.

For five decades, Goergen has played a substantial leadership role in the University of Rochester's development. His support and counsel have provided for many significant improvements to scholarship, teaching, research and campus life, including:

  • Construction of the Robert B. Goergen Hall for Biomedical Engineering and Optics. Opened in 2007, the 100,000-square-foot academic building houses the University's Institute of Optics, the Department of Biomedical Engineering, as well as classrooms, laboratories, and faculty offices.
  • The Goergen Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, established by Goergen and his wife, Pamela, in 1997. The awards are presented annually to faculty members who have distinguished themselves through their impact on students.
  • Extensive renovation and expansion of the University's 200,000-square-foot athletic center, which was named in his honor in 2000.
  • The Class of 1960 Reunion Scholarship, established with his classmates in honor of the 25th anniversary of their graduation from the University and which has provided financial support to undergraduate students for more than 20 years.

"An invaluable advisor and longstanding advocate for the University, Bob Goergen has inspired others to take on leadership roles through service and philanthropy," said Peter Lennie, senior vice president and Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences and Engineering. "The profound impact of his generosity can be seen across campus, experienced in academic programs and student life, and witnessed through the University's recent progress."

A University trustee since 1982, Goergen served as board chairman from 1991 to 2003 and has been a member of the Investment and Financial Planning Committees from 2003 to present. He was named chairman emeritus in 2008 and today chairs the board's Strategic Planning Advisory Committee.

Recipients of the Dean's Medals are chosen by each dean in consultation with other University leaders.




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