Campus Mourns the Passing of George S. Ansell and Marjorie Ansell
To: The Rensselaer Community
It is with great sadness that I write to inform you of the recent passing of Dr. George S. Ansell '54 and his wife, Marjorie Ansell, both of whom passed away on Friday, August 30, 2013.
Dr. Ansell first arrived at Rensselaer as a freshman in 1951, earned his bachelor's degree in metallurgical engineering in 1954 and a master's degree in 1955. After serving on active duty in the U.S. Navy until 1958, he returned to Rensselaer, earning his Ph.D. in 1960, and joining the faculty of the Institute that same year.
Active in both teaching and research, he was promoted to Professor of Metallurgical Engineering in 1965, appointed as the Robert W. Hunt Professor in 1967, and became chair of the Materials Division in 1969.
Dr. Ansell published extensively, received several major national awards, and was thesis adviser for some 75 graduate students. He was a fellow of the American Society for Metals, the Metallurgical Society, and the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers.
In 1974, he was appointed Dean of Engineering. During his 10-year tenure as dean, the school greatly expanded its focus on graduate education and research. Engineering enrollment and research funding flourished under his leadership, and Rensselaer participated successfully in important technological initiatives in partnership with industry, including interactive computer graphics, advanced manufacturing, and integrated electronics.
The hub of engineering activities on campus, the J. Erik Jonsson Engineering Center, opened during Dr. Ansell's deanship. His many contributions to Rensselaer were commemorated in that building by naming a central gathering location after him, the George S. Ansell '54 Lounge. A large montage celebrating his accomplishments and time at Rensselaer is framed and on display in that room.
Mrs. Ansell, also a member of the Rensselaer family, worked in the Development Office of Institute Advancement.
Dr. Ansell left Rensselaer in 1984 to become the 13th president of the Colorado School of Mines. He served in that role until his retirement in 1998 with the title of President Emeritus. Today, Colorado School of Mines has both a department and an endowed professorship named for him.
Dr. and Mrs. Ansell are survived by their children, Frederick, Laura, and Benjamin, and three grandchildren.
Please join me in taking a moment to reflect on the lives of Dr. and Mrs. Ansell, who made important, timeless contributions to our beloved Institute. Rensselaer would not be what it is today without the effort, passion, and intellect of Dr. Ansell.