Background Image

News & Events


NASA Chief Scientist And Rose-Hulman President Among Those To Receive Clarkson University Honorary Degrees In May

NASA Chief Scientist Kathie L. Olsen and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology President Samuel F. Hulbert, a native of Adams Center, N.Y., are among the four people who will receive honorary degrees at Clarkson University's 109th Commencement on Sunday, May 12.

Also receiving honorary degrees will be University Trustee Charles S. Ehrlich and Director of the Clarkson University International Center for Gravity Materials Science & Applications Liya L. Regel.

Charles S. Ehrlich is the retired chairman of the board of Ehrlich Auto Parts, which was a major chain of auto parts stores in New York state’s Capital District. A 1956 graduate of Clarkson, Ehrlich has been active professionally as a leader in the auto parts after-market industry and has given generously of his time to support numerous civic and charitable organizations, including his alma mater, where he has served as a University trustee since 1992. Ehrlich has also served as president of the Alumni Association and has received the University’s highest alumni honor, the Golden Knight Award.

Since becoming president of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 1976, Samuel F. Hulbert has led the institute through a period of unprecedented growth and quality improvement resulting in the college earning a national reputation. During his tenure at Rose-Hulman, enrollment has nearly doubled, more than $90 million in new facilities have been completed or are under construction, and the academic program has developed into a national model for undergraduate engineering, mathematics and science education. Hulbert is also a pioneer in the use of ceramics to create artificial knees, hips and dental prostheses.

Kathie L. Olsen has been chief scientist at NASA since May 1999 and acting associate administrator for the Office of Biological and Physical Research since July 2000. The most senior ranking woman at NASA, she serves as the administrator's senior scientific advisory and principal interface with the national and international scientific community. Olsen is responsible for ensuring that NASA programs are universally regarded as scientifically and technologically valid and is the principal adviser to the administrator on the budget content of NASA's science programs.

Liya L. Regel pioneered the field of materials processing at high gravity using large centrifuges. Beginning in the early 1980s, she conducted experiments on the huge centrifuge in Russia that was used to test and to train cosmonauts. Arriving at Clarkson in 1991 she teamed with William Wilcox to construct at Clarkson the first centrifuge in the world dedicated to materials processing and related flow visualization. They organized three international meetings on this subject at Clarkson in 1993, 1996 and 2000. In 2000 Regel was honored with the prestigious Basic Sciences Award of the International Academy of Astronautics.

Clarkson's Commencement tradition calls for each honorary degree recipient to briefly address the students, their families and guests about a topic central to their success in life.

The weekend will also be marked by the commissioning of United States Army and Air Force ROTC officers on Saturday, May 11.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

Calendar View the full calendar >>

Full Calendar RSS Feed