A retired Michigan State University professor has made a $1 million commitment to benefit the MSU College of Engineering with a professorship in electromagnetics.
The gift is being established through an estate plan from Dennis P. Nyquist of East Lansing, a former faculty member and graduate of the MSU Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
“Both the college and ECE department were instrumental in my professional growth, so I am delighted to support MSU and advance electromagnetics with this gift,” Nyquist said. “As a retired faculty member, I appreciate the value and prestige that endowed positions bring by attracting and retaining top quality faculty members to the college.”
MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon said the gift will help Michigan State step up its competitiveness and nourish its culture of high performance.
“Endowed chairs and professorships give our deans and leaders a powerful means of attracting the next generation of MSU faculty,” she said. “Our faculty members are the essential resources in all that we do. We are grateful to Professor Nyquist not only for all his years of service that helped make MSU a top university today but also for his generous investment in MSU’s future.”
Endowed professorships and chair positions are the highest level of faculty distinction. The support from an endowment provides a dependable, perpetual source of funding to support the position, as well as the ability to conduct research and scholarship as new opportunities arise.
“As a distinguished faculty member, Dennis brought both vision and passion to his dedicated work for MSU and this college,” said Leo Kempel, dean of the MSU College of Engineering, who himself was mentored by Nyquist as a junior faculty member. “These kinds of endowed positions are crucial in recruiting and developing faculty members who can uphold Dennis’ profound legacy of professional contributions and the highest level of scholarship.”
Nyquist is an award-winning faculty member, who earned a Ph.D. from MSU in 1966 and served as a faculty member from 1966 to 2002. Among his many honors are the MSU Teacher-Scholar Award in 1969, and the University Distinguished Faculty Award in 1997.
The Nyquist Professorship in Electromagnetics is in conjunction with two other donations: The Lucille P. Nyquist Memorial Endowed Electrical Engineering Graduate Fellowship fund that honors his late mother, and the Dennis P. Nyquist Electromagnetic Research Discretionary Endowment Fund.
The Nyquist Endowment will be managed by MSU’s Office of Investments and Financial Management. Endowments differ from other gifts in that the total amount is invested and a portion of the income will be available for spending each year, while the remainder will be reinvested to grow the fund and safeguard against inflation. MSU’s long-term investment returns have performed ahead of peer institutions. According to a 2013 National Association of College and University Business Officers study, the median college and university investment was 8 percent for the previous 10 years, while MSU’s was 8.6 percent.