Building a Future
"I was the class artist, and at the age of 11, I stepped into a plane geometry class and fell in love," Harvey Berg, Class of 1954, says. "When you put those two together, you get architecture."
Unfortunately, Harvey's parents had other plans for his life and discouraged him from attending college, but a pivotal conversation during Harvey's senior year with a classmate known as Kiki changed everything.
"I was getting obsessed with the idea of being an architect, and needed advice," Harvey says. "I spoke with Kiki, and she inspired me to follow my dreams. After a conversation with her, I began to fill out college applications."
Shortly before his high school graduation, Harvey discovered that he had not only been accepted to three colleges, but was also offered a full scholarship at Rensselaer. He wanted to thank Kiki at graduation, but she wasn't there.
Harvey went on to earn a degree in architecture from Rensselaer that set him up for a successful career, which includes owning his own firm.
"A degree in architecture qualifies you for licensure, gives you the technical knowledge, and the ideals and principles about design and dedication," Harvey says.
Forty-three years after his high school graduation, Harvey discovered how he could get back in touch with Kiki after she was made the page one headline in The New York Times for her appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. Harvey later reached out to finally thank Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—nicknamed Kiki as a child—for her encouragement to get the education that prepared him for a wonderful life.
"My life was changed by Rensselaer and the good advice of a now famous high school classmate," Harvey says.
In gratitude, Harvey has planned a gift to the Institute through his estate so that others could enjoy the benefits of a Rensselaer education.
You Can Help
By planning a gift through your estate, you too can partner with Rensselaer in making a better future. Your gift will help provide a Rensselaer education to future generations who will "apply science to the common purposes of life."
Contact Art Tracy '92 MS at 518-276-2561 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.