J. Robert Hillier, one of the nation’s leading architects, was named National Chairman of the Campaign for Albert Dorman Honors College at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT).
The fundraising campaign for the Dorman Honors College, which Hillier will lead, hopes to raise $20 million for an endowed scholarship fund. Hillier, a Princeton-based architect, was named chairman of the campaign during NJIT’s recent benefit dinner, called Celebration.
“As we move forward with the campaign for Albert Dorman Honors College,” said Hillier during the dinner, “the future that we will help to build is not only one in which succeeding generations of students will be inspired to achieve academic preeminence, but one in which they will also be inspired to lead and to seek lifelong engagement in activity that benefits many others as well as themselves.”
Hillier’s comment about students becoming committed leaders reflects the mission of the Dorman Honors College, which is to transform students into leaders - may it be in architecture, engineering, science, technology, business, law or medicine.
Begun as a pilot program in 1985 and launched as a college of the university in 1994, Dorman today enrolls more than 500 of the nation’s brightest students, with SATs in the top 10 percent nationally and with math proficiency in the top two percent. The college builds on NJIT’s rigorous curriculum, offering enriched coursework and seminars, as well as real world projects with outstanding faculty researchers and industry leaders. Many students in the honors college are the first in their families to attend college and thus rely on merit and need-based scholarships.
More than 600 Dorman graduates have moved on to significant careers in industry and government, and to prestigious and professional schools. They credit the honors college as the catalyst that put them on the path to leadership opportunities in their careers.
Take, for example, Emily Hsu, who graduated from Dorman in 1999 and now works as a senior analyst in the Global Information Solutions unit of Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development. “The small classes, the fast pace, the personal attention from the professors and the eagerness of the students really makes Dorman a rigorous college,” said Hsu.
And Louis Calabrese, of Lacey Township, a current Dorman student who spoke during the Celebration dinner, exemplifies the qualities that the college seeks to foster in its students. In addition to his class work - he majors in computer science and minors in management - Calabrese has done research relevant to national security. He has helped NJIT researchers analyze critical communications and decision-making processes and how they are affected by events such as 9/11. The research may provide methods for dealing with disruptions in vital medical, power and communications systems.
Joel Bloom, provost of NJIT and dean of the Dorman Honors College, said he was honored that an architect of Hillier’s stature will lead a campaign that will help students such as Calabrese and Hsu.
“Bob Hillier and his firm are industry leaders with designs that enlighten and endure - a metaphor for the Dorman Honors College,” said Bloom.
Hillier has built one of the country’s largest architectural firms in the country, and he has long been a dedicated friend of NJIT and the Dorman Honors College. In addition to serving as chairman of the new campaign, he was the founding chair of the college’s Board of Visitors and is a member of the NJIT Board of Overseers.
Beginning as a sole practitioner in Princeton in 1966, client-focused service and design excellence have been the cornerstones of Hillier’s work. After just two years in practice, his firm became the first ever to win three New Jersey AIA design awards in one year. Continuing to grow, the firm won high-profile commissions from Citicorp, Beneficial Management, Steelcase, and several university projects from NJIT, Princeton, Yale, Penn and Columbia.
In 1987, Hillier was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Inc. magazine. In 1991, Hillier won the international design competition for Star City, a two-billion-dollar mixed-use development in Sydney, Australia. The firm has also designed the largest corporate campus projects on either side of the Atlantic — the four-million-square-foot Sprint headquarters near Kansas City and the one-million-square-foot GlaxoSmithKline global headquarters outside London.