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Dave '67 & Judy Walsh

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A Catalyst for Clarkson
Summer 2012

“Clarkson is an excellent school for overachievers.” says David Walsh ’67. “You get out of your education what you put into it, and Clarkson’s small size, access to faculty and peer competition make it easy, and necessary, to maximize your experience.” David took advantage of that opportunity during his time at Clarkson, but it almost didn’t happen. “My family was of modest means,” says David, “and college was not in the picture for me. It was only because of financial aid from Clarkson that I was able to go to college.”

At Clarkson, David rose to the challenge of increased expectations and discovered a love of laboratory research in organic chemistry. He also discovered the love of his life, and married Judith Levko, a SUNY Potsdam student, in his senior year. After graduation David spent two years in the Army at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C., and then completed his doctoral work in organic chemistry at the University of New Hampshire while Judy began her 30-year career in elementary school teaching. In 1974 he began his professional research career at the A.H. Robins Company. When the company was sold in 1990, he began a career in manufacturing, first with two years at Nutrasweet, and then taking his combined skills to start-up companies like Biocryst, Gem Pharma and finally to United Therapeutics in Silver Spring, MD in 1999. Now he’s gone back to his roots and the work he loves in the laboratory, and heads up chemical research and development at United Therapeutics in advance of retirement in three years.

David has always remained close to his Clarkson roots, and recently joined the Arts and Sciences Dean’s Advisory Council, where he is sponsoring a lecture series each year for students. “Each event in life is an opportunity to learn and grow,” says David, “Our continuing education is so important, and Clarkson was there to help me at a point in life when I really needed it. Without an education none of us would be where we are today, and I want to ensure that others have the same opportunity that I had.” Now, David is taking steps to make that possible.

This year marks David’s 45th anniversary graduation from Clarkson, and 2013 will be his 50th anniversary graduation from Guilderland Central High School. David will celebrate these milestones by creating an endowment at Clarkson that will provide scholarship aid to students from Guilderland Central. The Walsh Endowed Scholarship will generate aid for a student each year from Guilderland Central majoring in any discipline at Clarkson, eventually funding four Walsh Scholars at a time. “Education gives us a tremendous advantage, a ‘leg-up’ on opportunity”, says David. “This scholarship will allow bright and needy students to choose Clarkson over other schools, and become future generations of overachievers. Now I can provide the same catalyst for others that was available for me. I look forward to watching it happen.”

Click here for more information about Clarkson endowments.