In decades past, Fritz Traugott's company designed and installed several of the heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems still in place on campus. Beginning this fall, a $2 million commitment from Traugott and his wife, Frances, will support the Energy Systems Engineering Program in the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science.
"It's a dream fulfilled," says Traugott. An Austrian native, he came to Syracuse 46 years ago through a Marshall Plan work-study initiative for young engineers. He studied and worked for a year in Syracuse, returned to Austria, and then came back to the United States with Frances' assistance. He retired in 1990 after a long career with Robson & Woese Inc., a Syracuse-based consulting engineering firm.
Engineering and computer science Dean Edward Bogucz says the Traugotts' gift will rapidly strengthen the energy systems program. Initial monies will equip new labs, aid in hiring a new faculty member, and support student scholarships. Additionally, the Traugotts and the dean are interested in supporting transfer students arriving from community colleges and encouraging the entry of women into the field.
"The Traugotts' generosity demonstrates the family's commitment to the College of Engineering and Computer Science and its vision for the future," says Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw. "This gift is both a recognition of the career skills and knowledge Fritz Traugott received during his time here and an acknowledgment that tomorrow's engineers and scientists need continuing support to lead us in the next century."
"This is an extraordinary gift at an ideal time," says Bogucz, "and one of the largest gifts the college has ever received from individuals."
A $2 million commitment to the University from Fritz and Frances Traugott will allow the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science to strengthen its Energy Systems Engineering Program.
"In Dean Bogucz, I found a person who wanted what I wanted for the college," Traugott says. "We share a vision for engineering and for the education of young engineers. We have a challenge to attract the right studentsstudents who won't be handbook specialists, but designers; engineers willing to think deeply and create new designs that will use the energy that surrounds us, rather than waste it."
This past June, in honor of his career and his support of the University, Traugott received an honorary doctorate from the College of Engineering and Computer Science.
WHERE WE STAND|
As of mid-1998, more than $232 million was given or pledged to the University's $300 million Commitment to Learning campaign. "Gifts of all sizes are needed to meet our goal," says Sid Micek, director of the campaign and vice president for development. "It's encouraging to watch support from our annual donors grow, and see how large, high-profile gifts stimulate even more major support for our students and programs." The campaign is slated to end in June 2000the "millennium bug" notwithstanding.