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Dr. Jackson Announces June 30 Retirement of Rensselaer Tech Park Director Michael Wacholder

To: The Rensselaer Community
From: Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D.
Professor of Physics
Professor of Engineering Sciences
Date: February 16, 2012
Re: Retirement of Michael Wacholder

I write to inform you that Mr. Michael Wacholder, Director of the Rensselaer Technology Park, has decided to retire effective June 30, 2012.

Mr. Wacholder has served as the Director of the Rensselaer Technology Park for the past 34 years. Mr. Wacholder has been involved with a broad spectrum of other entrepreneurial endeavors at Rensselaer and first became involved with Rensselaer in the early 1970's as an adjunct professor in the School of Architecture.

In 1978, Mr. Wacholder was asked by then President George M. Low to staff a feasibility study for building a technology community on a major parcel of land owned by Rensselaer in nearby North Greenbush. This study and subsequent analysis led to a decision by the Institute Trustees, in March of 1981, to authorize the development of the Rensselaer Technology Park---one of the first in a "second wave" of university-led technology parks across the country.

The Rensselaer Incubator Program, now Emerging Ventures Ecosystem (EVE), is another project that arose out of the Park feasibility study. The Incubator quickly rose in prominence, by nurturing the early success of new enterprises. For many years, Mr. Wacholder oversaw both the ongoing development of the Park and the management of the Incubator. He was charged with the responsibility of conducting reviews of the patenting, licensing and commercialization of campus based technologies. Out of that assignment evolved RenTEC, the Rensselaer Technological Entrepreneurship Council, which supported the development of a number of student and faculty founded new ventures.

Today, universities are widely recognized as economic development engines in their communities. With his legacy of accomplishments, Mr. Wacholder has made a lasting imprint in this sphere at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. We will launch a national search for Mr. Wacholder's successor in the weeks ahead.

I am grateful to Mr. Wacholder for the hard work and dedication he has demonstrated, and I hope you will join me in wishing him well in all his future pursuits.