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06-14-2016

Late Alumnus Elmer Gates Establishes Tony Collins Professor of Innovative Engineering Culture at Clarkson University

The late Elmer Gates ’50 generously provided a gift to establish the Tony Collins Professor of Innovative Engineering Culture in the Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering at Clarkson University.

Clarkson College Alumnus Elmer Gates '50 (left) provided a generous gift to create the Tony Collins Professor of Innovative Engineering Culture, named in honor of Clarkson University President Tony Collins.This new professorship will be awarded to an individual who demonstrates the symbiotic relationship between engineering and management, crosses disciplinary boundaries, actively defies convention, and embraces the entrepreneurial spirit.

Elmer Gates embodied the innovative energy he hoped to foster in the Tony Collins Professorship. Gates began his “turnaround business” approach with a rewarding and successful career at General Electric that ended in 1982. From a position as the CEO of the Fuller Company in 1986, which he sold in 1990, to mentoring startups and CEO’s, Gates believed in and lived by the dynamic attributes he supported at Clarkson.

He authored a book, U-Turn Leadership, chronicling his experiences. A standout alumnus, Gates was a recipient of the Golden Knight Award in 2010 and was inducted into Clarkson’s Alumni Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame in 2011. Gates passed away in December 2015, leaving behind many legacies, including this professorship.

"Elmer was the definition of the success we seek for Clarkson students," said Clarkson President Tony Collins. "He created cultures of excellence in the businesses he worked for and created, and will continue to do so here at Clarkson through this professorship. I am truly humbled and honored that Elmer would put my name to such a lasting gift."

Clarkson University educates the leaders of the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as an owner, CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. With its main campus located in Potsdam, N.Y., and additional graduate program and research facilities in the Capital Region and Beacon, New York, Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university with signature areas of academic excellence and research directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through more than 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, education, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Clarkson Alumnus Elmer Gates '50 (left) provided a generous gift to create the Tony Collins Professor of Innovative Engineering Culture, named in honor of Clarkson University President Tony Collins.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/gates-collins.jpg .]

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

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