The Stevens community opened Alumni Weekend 2016 by celebrating one of its most successful and generous alumni, Frank Semcer of the Class of 1965. More than 150 guests assembled on the Palmer Lawn to honor Frank and wife Mary Jane during a dinner and speaking program June 2.
The Semcers recently made a generous gift to establish a new Multi-Disciplinary Tissue Engineering Lab as part of the Center for Healthcare Innovation (CHI), as well as a faculty chair within the Center and scholarships for student researchers. The gift is a prominent contribution to the current Power of Stevens fundraising campaign.
Long philanthropic legacy, thanks from a President and Trustees
Semcer is chairman of MICRO, a Somerset, New Jersey manufacturer of precision metal and plastic components and devices, with global clients in the medical device, automotive, aerospace and electronics industries. Among various industry and civic awards, he has received the Harold R. Fee ’20 Alumni Achievement Award in 1985 and the Stevens Honor Award in Innovation and Entrepreneurship in 2010.
The recent gift for the Center for Healthcare Innovation is the latest in the Semcers’ philanthropic legacy at Stevens. The have also supported the Class of 1965 Scholarship, the Historic Preservation Fund, and funds benefitting the Theta Xi fraternity and house. Frank Semcer is also a member of the Stevens Board of Trustees.
During the speaking program, Virginia Ruesterholz ’83, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, praised Frank’s leadership.
"When we’re in a board meeting and we have challenges, I always look over to Frank," she said. "He has two things going for him, a twinkle in his eye and a very big grin. I always know, when I see those two things, we’re going to make great things happen."
Dr. Peter Tolias, director of the CHI, discussed how the new tissue lab will advance the Center’s mission of improving biomedical technology and healthcare delivery.
"This is going to be a state-of-the-art facility that will allow us to leverage the skills of our faculty and almost 40 undergraduate and postgraduate researchers in multidisciplinary projects that will hopefully change the face of medicine," noted Tolias.
To conclude the program, Sean Hanlon '80, a Stevens Trustee and emcee for the event, and President Nariman Farvardin presented Frank Semcer with a painting of the Theta Xi house. President Farvardin recalled the first time he met Semcer and how he regards Frank and Mary Jane as special people who have a meaningful impact on Stevens.
"It is your involvement, your caring, your friendship and your generosity that put the wind in our sails," he said. "We are moving forward faster because you give us support and energy.”
The honoree responded by expressing gratitude for his lifelong connection to Stevens.
“The four years I was at Stevens gave me the foundation for my career," said Semcer. "Hard work gave me the opportunity to graduate from this wonderful college, which I absolutely love. Giving back to Stevens and standing here today is a pleasure and an honor for Mary Jane and me."