Pitt | Swanson Engineering
Gerald D. Holder Innovation Fund

Swanson School Board of Visitors Establishes Gerald D. Holder Innovation Fund

On Friday, November 3, Swanson School of Engineering Board of Visitors Chair Roberta A. Luxbacher announced the establishment of the Gerald D. Holder Innovation Fund via generous contributions from the board. The fund was established in recognition of Dean Holder’s focus on innovation and excellence which transformed the Swanson School into a leader in engineering and research during his 21-year tenure. The Gerald D. Holder Innovation Fund will facilitate the Swanson School’s ability to pursue for its students and faculty inspired, enterprising, and entrepreneurial programs and initiatives included, but not limited to:

  • Immersion programs for students to experience the difficulties and rewards of product innovation and new business creation.
  • New coursework and co-curricular activities designed to introduce product design and business formation concepts to undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Creating and maintaining Makerspace locations for students to collaboratively explore the design process from start to finish.

In her comments, Ms. Luxbacher addressed Dean Holder, emphasizing: “Jerry, this Board of Visitors is immensely proud of what you have done for the Swanson School of Engineering during your 21-year tenure.  You have made it a school that all of us are extremely proud to be associated with.  In honor of your accomplishments and as a token of our thanks, I’m pleased to announce that the Swanson School Board of Visitors has generously helped us to kick off the establishment of the Gerald D Holder Innovation Fund in the Swanson School of Engineering.”

The $420,000 fund was anchored by two major gifts from Dr. John A. Swanson and Mr. Jack Mascaro and included significant donations from board members. “With the announcement of the Fund, from this evening on,” added Luxbacher,” it will serve an open opportunity for contributions from faculty, alumni, corporations, and friends until next summer when Jerry officially retires, at which point we will announce the success of our mini-campaign to honor “The Dean of Deans.”

For more information or to make a donation, please go to: http://www.giveto.pitt.edu and designate your gift to the Gerald D. Holder Fund for Innovation.

You may also contact the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs at 412-624-2344 or email Carey Anne Zucca at czucca@pitt.edu.