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Tribute to President Edward Parrish, President of Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I welcome this opportunity to pay tribute to the distinguished president of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Edward Parrish, as he nears his retirement this year.

Ed Parrish came to WPI as president in 1995 after an impressive career in engineering at NASA and in teaching and academic research. From the University of Virginia to Vanderbilt and finally to WPI, he was widely recognized for his skill and dedication in engineering and engineering education. He has led regional and national efforts to expand the recruitment of students and the scope of engineering programs, and he has demonstrated his commitment to the future in these fields by joining in the management of a magnet school for the sciences with the Worcester public schools.

He has been a pioneer in improving the quality of education, and expanded the program at WPI to include more integrated projects, cross-science working groups, and problem-solving education. He has created new opportunities for faculty and students to participate in research and international study. By modernizing the infrastructure of the university, he made it one of the earliest and best-wired campuses in the Nation.

Since its founding in 1865, WPI has been a unique institution widely recognized as a pioneer in technology and higher education. Ed Parrish has led a world-class university into the 21st century, expanding both the number and the knowledge of undergraduate and graduate students by offering opportunities to work with professionals in real situations on campus, in Massachusetts, and around the world, solving real problems that have an immediate impact on society.

Fortunately, Ed has agreed to serve on the Goldwater commission to provide a continuing source of scientists by awarding scholarships to college students, so that his experience and talent will continue to benefit the lives of students and the life of the Nation in the years ahead. His 9 years at WPI have been a time of growth and expansion for the university, and all of us in Massachusetts have much to thank him for as he enters this next chapter of his outstanding career. Ed and his family have my best wishes for the future, and I look forward to many opportunities to work with him and learn from him in the future.

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