Letter from the PIAA President

Dear Fellow Alumni,

Thank you for your support in electing me President of the Polytechnic Institute Alumni Association (PIAA). It is an honor for me to lead this distinguished and diverse group of more than 33,000 alumni from around the world.

I am certain that—like me—you all have many fond memories of your days here, and I know you share my pride in our great alma mater, which continues to be an academic leader at home in New York, in the country, and in the world.

Perhaps you have read in the national media of our ever-growing stature. We were recently voted among the top engineering schools in the country by PayScale; the editors of U.S. News & World Report ranked our online graduate engineering program one of the best around; and Worth magazine deemed our incubators to be one of the nation’s “Top 10 Idea Labs.” Those are just a few of the accolades that we have garnered this year, and I’m confident that there are many more to come.

I’m assuming leadership at an exciting time in our history. The long-anticipated merger with NYU was finalized on January 1, 2014. Along with a name change—to the New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering—the merger brings with it a wealth of new services and benefits for you, and I hope that you will take advantage of them as they are made available.
One thing will never change, however. We will continue to provide opportunities to students from a wide range of backgrounds, including those new to these shores and those who are the first in their families to gain a higher education. We will continue to provide them with the skills and knowledge they need to benefit society and make a difference in the world.

Please join me and the other dedicated members of the PIAA as we support our school, which has long been a beacon of excellence and diversity, in that noble mission.

Fittingly, the theme of this issue of Cable is “collaboration.” It takes many people working together to make an institution great and keep it vital. Our wonderful faculty members and staff certainly do their part, and we, as alumni, can help immeasurably as well.

With the new leadership team finalized and committee chairs appointed, I urge you to become involved in the PIAA. Volunteer to serve as a mentor to an eager student, provide an internship, or make a gift to one of our scholarship funds—there are many deeply gratifying ways to lend a hand.

We welcome your thoughts and suggestions about how we can continually improve our organization. Please feel free to contact us at alumni@poly.edu.

My life has been enriched immeasurably by my connection to my alma mater, and I’m sure that many of you would say the same. Only with your individual and collective help, can our alumni association ensure that a new generation of aspiring engineers will be equally enriched.

I recently had the honor of addressing the Class of 2017 at their convocation. As I gazed out at more than 600 eager, young faces, I saw the same hunger for knowledge and drive to change the world that we have all evinced. We must remain committed to helping our current students satisfy that hunger for knowledge, and we must encourage their drive to be innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs. Just as previous generations of devoted alumni extended their support to us, we must do the same for them.

Warm Regards,
Gerald W. Dawes
’84EE ’89EE PIAA President