Dr. Nariman Farvardin, the next president of Stevens, told the crowd earlier this month at the Stevens Alumni Weekend Luncheon that he needs their help. He spoke of how ready he is to unleash his passion here at Stevens. He said that he has aspirations to move the University to higher levels.
“But we need help, involvement, engagement and counsel’’ from the alumni to achieve this, he stated.
The crowd of more than 200 alumni, spouses, friends and Stevens community members listened as Dr. Farvardin spoke of his background, coming to the United States from his native Iran on Jan. 5, 1979, during a period of revolution in that country. He mentioned his 27-year career with the University of Maryland, College Park, and how he “pursued an education at a school that looks very much like this one, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,’’ in Troy, N.Y., which is about 135 miles up the Hudson River from Stevens.
“I keep coming back to the Hudson River,’’ he said with a slight laugh.
The crowd gathered inside Canavan Arena gave Dr. Farvardin their undivided attention as he spoke, many hearing him for the first time since it was announced in January that he would become the seventh president of Stevens. He officially takes office on July 1, but Dr. Farvardin has visited campus several times since then to meet with staff, administrators and alumni. He and his wife, Hoveida, will live on campus in Hoxie House, the traditional home of the Stevens president.
“For the past five months, every time I have come here, I become more impressed with the strong sense of community,’’ he said.
“Stevens has 141 years of legacy in engineering, which is what our country needs,’’ he asserted.
During his remarks, Dr. Farvardin spoke of his vision of Stevens’ future. Stevens has the ingredients to build a strong university that is second to none, he said, citing the family of alumni, the focus of the school and its prime location just minutes to New York City, where the access to Fortune 500 companies is like no other school, as the keys to its future success.
“We need to make our family of alumni bigger,’’ he said. “But without you, we will not reach our destination.’’
He will be getting to know the alumni better by traveling to different locations throughout the United States to meet them. “You can help me in ways that you cannot image,’’ he told them.
“We are the sail and you, the alumni, are the wind beneath the sail,’’ he said.
Earlier in the day Dr. Farvardin mingled with the alumni during the Old Guard Reception, which was held just prior to the luncheon and included dozens of members of the Class of ’61, who enjoyed their 50th anniversary that weekend.
Also at the luncheon was Dr. George P. Korfiatis, interim president and provost, who spoke briefly to the crowd. He mentioned the recent commencement ceremonies where about 1,800 new alumni were added to the ranks.
“We hope they will follow in your footsteps and come back as alumni,’’ he said.
“We have a collective responsibility to move the University forward,’’ Dr. Korfiatis continued.
“We have the chance to go from a great institution to achieving greatness’’ and the alumni are the “soul of the system.’’
“I ask you to remain engaged with the University,’’ Dr. Korfiatis said. “It is essential for us to reach the next level.’’
Dr. Korfiatis closed his remarks by thanking the alumni for all their support during this time of transition. He received a standing ovation as he left the podium.