NYU Tandon launches new loyal giving society

bertoni thorsen and kovacevic

From Left: Henry Bertoni, Richard Thorsen, and Jelena Kovacevic at NYU Tandon's donor appreciation lunch

In honor of two of its most loyal donors, NYU Tandon School of Engineering has launched a new giving society to recognize those donors who have made annual gifts to the school for three or more years. The Bertoni-Thorsen Society is named for two of the school’s longtime faculty members: Henry Bertoni, Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Richard Thorsen, Chair of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department and Vice President Emeritus.

Bertoni and Thorsen started their affiliations with what is now NYU Tandon as students in the 60s: Bertoni as a graduate student in Electrical Engineering at Poly in Brooklyn, and Thorsen as a graduate student in Mechanical Engineering at NYU’s Heights campus in the Bronx. Both went on to serve as faculty members in their respective schools — and, following the merger of NYU’s School of Engineering and Science with Brooklyn Poly in 1973, they were united in Brooklyn.

Since that time, in addition to serving in various academic and administrative capacities at Poly and NYU for almost fifty years, Bertoni and Thorsen have also been steadfast philanthropic supporters of the school, giving annually in support of scholarships and the annual fund for more than thirty years.

The Bertoni-Thorsen Society was initially announced at NYU Tandon’s annual donor luncheon, hosted by NYU Tandon Dean Jelena Kovačević, last November. Both Bertoni and Thorsen spoke at the event, recounting their experiences as students and their many years of service at Poly and NYU, and conveying their continued commitment to supporting students who may otherwise be unable to get a degree from the school — a tradition they hope will inspire others to give.

“The idea of the American Dream was conceived by Brooklyn native and our alumnus, John Truslow Adams. Future generations of alumni have lived that dream,” says Thorsen. “It is incumbent upon all of us to assure that our students, present and future, have the opportunity to fulfill their American Dream.”

“Donating to the Polytechnic, and now the Tandon, scholarship funds has been my way of giving back for the financial aid I received as an undergraduate, which had a big effect on my life,” says Bertoni. “When you think of the impact that getting a degree has on the lives of the students we help, this is money well spent.”

For more information on the Bertoni-Thorsen Giving Society, please contact Lisa Klimkiewicz, Director of Stewardship, at (646) 997-3165 or lk88@nyu.edu.