What Rensselaer Meant to His Life: Donor Ensures That Other Students Will Have Same Opportunities
Growing up with an interest in crystal sets and other electrical devices, Dr. H. Frank Hicks Jr. attended Rensselaer to pursue a degree in electrical engineering.
Frank was impressed with the range of engineering programs available to him and he had a deep respect for many of the professors at Rensselaer. A member of Pi Kappa Alpha and several clubs on campus, Frank made many friends at Rensselaer, some of whom he still keeps in touch with today.
Frank was a student at Rensselaer and volunteered to serve with the US Army Signal Corps Reserve 10 months after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He completed his degree in electrical engineering on an accelerated schedule and served on active duty for 32 months. He returned to Rensselaer after the war to earn his M.S. in electrical engineering in 1947 and his Ph.D. in applied physics in 1951.
Frank recalls how helpful Rensselaer was in making the transition from Army to civilian life by providing housing and teaching assignments to veterans.
Frank then went on to enjoy a long career in research and engineering at Eastman Kodak Company where he and his co-workers designed, developed, manufactured and operated the photographic sub-system of the Gambit Reconnaissance Satellite. Frank was married for nearly 55 years to his high school sweetheart, Joanne (who has since passed away). Joanne and Frank raised three children and have six grandchildren.
Extending the Values He Lives By
Although it's been a while since he's returned to Rensselaer, Frank keeps up with the latest news on campus.
"Rensselaer has remained in the forefront of such schools," he says. It has also remained at the forefront of his and his wife's charitable intentions. In addition to their contributions to the school's annual fund, the couple established a charitable remainder trust with Rensselaer.
Frank says a charitable remainder trust was appealing because they could make gifts to Rensselaer while retaining the security of additional income during their lifetimes.
"I got a good education that resulted in an interesting and challenging career, and RPI was at the base of it," Frank says.
Now the couple's gifts will help other promising students build the same foundation for life through Rensselaer.
Leaving Your Legacy
Stephen Van Rensselaer founded Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1824 for the purpose of applying science to the common purposes of life. We invite you to become a legacy partner with us in fulfilling this grand vision. For more information, please contact Art Tracy at email@example.com or (518) 276-2561, or visit planned gift.