On Oct. 3, 2019, the University of Vermont celebrated the installation of President Suresh V. Garimella.

The UVM community, state and national leaders, and colleagues, friends and family of President Garimella filled Ira Allen Chapel to mark the occasion.

A succession of speakers offered their views on the mission of higher education—particularly what that means for helping meet the challenges that face contemporary Vermont—and several also shared personal perspectives gained from working with President Garimella.

"A mind without fear"

Watch President Garimella's speech

Read his speech.

On engagement and leadership

Watch France A. Córdova's remarks

Read the prepared remarks.

It is an honor to be speaking today at the investiture of Dr. Suresh Garimella, the 27th President of the University of Vermont. Let me recognize the faculty, staff, and students of the University here, as well as Dr. Garimella’s family, friends, and colleagues. This is an important day for everyone who has been part of Dr. Garimella’s journey. It’s an opportunity to look forward to a new era with his presidency.

For a long time, I have been a student of institutions and what makes them successful. From institutions the size of a department or center to the size of an entire university — or even a country — what stands out as the principal ingredient for success for all is leadership.

You are very fortunate. The University of Vermont has found a great leader in Suresh Garimella. Let me tell you about my first encounter with him.

At the time I was President of Purdue. I saw that the Engineering School was featuring a special lecture by one of its faculty who had just returned from serving a year in Washington, DC as a Jefferson fellow at the State Department. I was eager to learn more about the benefits and insights gained from this appointment and made time in my schedule to attend the lecture. Suresh, of course, was the speaker.

I was impressed by his thoughtful analysis of his year with our State Department, what he had learned about international diplomacy and the relevance of science and technology to economic growth, our nation’s science portfolio, and foreign affairs. I thought to myself, “there’s a person we could use in the office of the Purdue President.” And, next thing I knew, Suresh was on our leadership team. My successor at Purdue recognized his talent and drive, and made him Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships. In that role, Suresh increased the research portfolio of the university tremendously and formed several stunning partnerships with industry. Now, the University of Vermont has recognized these achievements and the character that drove them, and made him President. You are fortunate, indeed.

Dr. Garimella is stepping up at an important time for higher education, perhaps even a defining moment in our history. This mirrors a time in American history in the 1800s when the effects of the Industrial Revolution were transforming society. There was an urgent need for educational opportunities that would give people the knowledge and skills they needed to navigate new frontiers in manufacturing, engineering, and agriculture.

That led to the creation of the land-grant university system in 1862. The University of Vermont became part of that nationwide system, and as a former chancellor and president of two land grant universities, I have seen close-hand how a land-grant university connects to the wider community. I can only imagine that you too are proud of your land grant tradition.

The frontiers of science and engineering have expanded far beyond what anyone could have imagined in the mid-1800s, and the roles of education and research have become even more important. The University of Vermont once prepared students for the Industrial Revolution, and now it will prepare students for the Artificial Intelligence revolution, the quantum computing revolution, the bio-engineering revolution, and many more groundbreaking opportunities that science, technology, and engineering have made possible.

And, lest you think I am talking only about science and engineering, this age also demands a revolution in creativity, in combining scientific and humanistic traditions in new ways to encourage creativity and innovation. It demands the skills of social and behavioral scientists to help ensure an ethical framework for how new technologies are used.

One of the hallmarks of Suresh’s career has been his interdisciplinary approach to both science and administration. The lines between different fields in science and engineering are blurring more and more every day and bigger breakthroughs are now made possible by cross-cutting collaborations.

This approach is becoming one of the defining characteristics of today’s successful and productive endeavors. The “coming together” or “convergence” of disciplines, of science and humanistic approaches, introduces new perspectives and generates new ways to solve even the most difficult questions.

At Purdue, Suresh conceived and implemented an ambitious Life Sciences Initiative, in which he brought together faculty from many disciplines to study integrative neuroscience and inflammation, immunology and infectious disease. He also assisted a new Integrative Data Science Initiative, which applied data science research to pressing fundamental and socially relevant issues. This was important to prepare students for the future.

I’m excited for what the future holds as your new president, Suresh Garimella, enables the convergence of ideas and people that are the heart of the University of Vermont. Congratulations to Suresh, and congratulations to all of you!

Read Dr. Córdova's bio

The Honorable France A. Córdova is an astrophysicist and the 14th director of the National Science Foundation (NSF). Córdova was nominated to this position by the President of the United States in 2013 and subsequently confirmed by the U.S. Senate. NSF is a $8.1B independent federal agency; it is the only government agency charged with advancing all fields of scientific discovery, technological innovation, and STEM education.

Córdova has been a leader in science, engineering and education for more than three decades. She has a distinguished career in both higher education and government; her contributions in multi-spectrum research on x-ray and gamma ray sources and space-borne instrumentation have made her an internationally recognized astrophysicist.

She is president emerita of Purdue University, where she led the university to record levels of research funding, reputational rankings, and student retention and graduation rates. She focused her tenure on launching tomorrow's leaders, translating research to innovation and meeting global challenges. She established a new College of Health and Human Sciences at Purdue, as well as a new Global Research Policy Institute, and participated in state-wide initiatives to boost public-private research collaborations.

Córdova is also chancellor emerita of the University of California, Riverside, where she was a distinguished professor of physics and astronomy and laid the foundation for a new medical school, California's first public medical school in over 40 years, and focused on student diversity and inclusion. At the University of California, Santa Barbara, where Cordova was vice chancellor for research and professor of physics, she led a campus-wide effort to support convergence in blue-sky research areas.

Previously, Córdova served as NASA's chief scientist, representing NASA to the larger scientific community and infusing the activities of the agency -- including the International Space Station, then under construction -- with the scientific goals of the broader community. She was the youngest person and first woman to serve as NASA's chief scientist and was awarded the agency's highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal.

Prior to joining NASA, she was on the faculty of the Pennsylvania State University where she headed the department of astronomy and astrophysics. Córdova was also deputy group leader in the Earth and space sciences division at Los Alamos National Laboratory. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University and her doctorate in physics from the California Institute of Technology.

More recently, Córdova served as chair of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution and on the board of trustees of Mayo Clinic. She also served as a member of the National Science Board (NSB), where she chaired the Committee on Strategy and Budget. As NSF director, she is an ex officio member of the NSB.

Córdova's scientific contributions have been in the areas of observational and experimental astrophysics, multi-spectral research on x-ray and gamma ray sources and space-borne instrumentation. She has published more than 150 scientific papers. She was co-principal investigator for a telescope experiment that is currently flying on the satellite XMM-Newton, a cornerstone mission of the European Space Agency.

For her scientific contributions, Córdova has been awarded several honorary doctorates, including ones from Purdue, Duke and Dartmouth Universities. She was honored as a Kilby Laureate, recognized for "significant contributions to society through science, technology, innovation, invention and education." Córdova was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is a National Associate of the National Academies. She is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Association for Women in Science (AWIS).

Córdova is married to Christian J. Foster, a science educator, and they have two adult children.

 

On friendship and collaboration

Watch Jayathi Y. Murthy's remarks

Read the prepared remarks

Good afternoon, everyone. It’s such a delight to be back here in this part of the country. I spent the first third of my career down the road in Hanover, New Hampshire, as an early employee of a software company called Fluent. Lots of hard work, lots of fun, lots of learning – It’s part of why I’ve always loved this part of the world. And so it is doubly delightful to be back here for this particular occasion – the installation of Suresh Garimella as President of the University of Vermont.

As I prepared for this occasion, I thought a lot about how to introduce my dear friend Suresh to you. We have been close friends and collaborators for a long time now. I could of course talk to you about his resume – the hundreds of publications, the national prizes, highly-placed students, dazzling amounts of funding…if you don’t mind feeling inadequate, I will talk to you about that.  And then there is Suresh the person – husband, father, son, teacher, mentor, collaborator, colleague, boss…I’ll talk to you about that too. And hopefully, from this composite will emerge the portrait of the Suresh I know – extraordinarily talented, extraordinarily competent, and extraordinarily caring.

First, research. Suresh and I work in the area of heat transfer, and Suresh has been a recognized leader in microelectronics thermal management. His work undergirds why your laptops don’t burn down and why data centers work. He’s explored new ways of cooling microelectronics – ideas like microchannel cooling, novel heat pipes and vapor chambers, and new ideas such as electrowetting. For this work, he has been recognized with virtually every prize the thermal sciences community has to offer, and his work permeates industries such as Intel, Motorola, IBM – you name it.  I remember his Cooling Technologies Research Consortium – CTRC – an industry consortium he ran for many decades, faithfully supported by a set of industry partners. They came back year after year, hired – grabbed - his students, and remain connected to Suresh after so long. There is not a company in this field that does not have a Garimella protégé who is moving and shaking things up.

And then there is teaching. When I first met Suresh, I was sure there was some sort of trick up his sleeve. Either the guy did not sleep, or there were actually two of him. How was it possible to run huge research groups – frequently 20 students or more – and give each student adequate attention? How was it possible to teach undergraduates with painstaking care? But somehow he did it – I haven’t entirely figured out how yet – but he did it. I remember the papers we wrote together with our students. These were painstakingly edited – frequently a mass of red that the poor student had to go away and fix – and full of sharp queries and comments. The best guess I have is that he is extraordinarily self-disciplined and efficient, and a genius at running things – at getting people to perform at their best. You all will see this aspect of Suresh here at the University of Vermont.

But all this stuff about research productivity, teaching effectiveness and administrative chops don’t tell you much about Suresh the person. I first got to know Suresh when I joined the faculty of the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue. I was one of three women in the department at that time, and its first female Full Professor. Now Full Professors are grown up people, and don’t need a lot of help, but I will tell you – when you’re one of three, grown up or not, life can get lonely. We quickly struck up a close collaboration, sharing ideas and students, and we worked on a lot of fun stuff together. Suresh has always been a phenomenal supporter of women – his lab always seemed to produce these confident and successful young women who, to this day, will tell you what a phenomenal experience they had in his lab. Suresh’s support of diversity is real, and comes from deep belief. And Suresh folded me into his family – Lakshmi, and their two children Shruti and Sanjay, were a warm and welcoming presence all through my stay in Purdue.  I have always been struck by Suresh’s relationship to his children, and to his students. Always warm and caring, always honest, never harsh – and always on their side.

So congratulations, Suresh, and congratulations, University of Vermont. I know you will do great things together, and I know Suresh will bring all of his enormous energy, intelligence, and imagination to his work here. I can’t wait to see what the future holds, and I wish you all the very best.

Read Dr. Murthy's bio

Jayathi Murthy is the Ronald and Valerie Sugar Dean of the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of California, Los Angeles. Previously she held the Ernest Cockrell Jr. Chair and served as Department Chair of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. She also served as Director of the $21M NNSA PRISM Center at Purdue for Prediction of Reliability, Integrity and Survivability of Microsystems during 2008-2014. She received her Ph.D. degree from the University of Minnesota in the area of numerical heat transfer and has worked in both academia and in industry. She was an early employee of Fluent Inc., a leading vendor of CFD software, where she developed the widely-used unstructured solution-adaptive finite volume methods that underlie their flagship software Fluent, and the electronics cooling software package ICEPAK.

More recently, her research has addressed sub-micron thermal transport, multiscale multiphysics simulations of MEMS and NEMS and uncertainty quantification in these systems. She is the recipient of the IBM Faculty Partnership award 2003-2005, numerous best paper awards, the 2009 ASME EPPD Woman Engineer of the Year Award and the 2012 ASME EPPD Clock Award. In 2012, she was named a distinguished alumna of IIT Kanpur, India. In 2016, she was awarded the ASME Heat Transfer Memorial Award for her contributions to the development of advanced computational techniques. Prof. Murthy serves on the editorial boards of Numerical Heat Transfer and International Journal of Thermal Sciences and is an editor of the 2nd edition of the Handbook of Numerical Heat Transfer. She has served on numerous national committees and panels on electronics thermal management and CFD, and is the author of over 300 technical publications.

 

On trust

Watch Carolyn Yauyan Woo's remarks

Read the prepared remarks

Thank you very much for including me in this celebration to mark a new inflection point at the university of Vermont, under the leadership of Dr. Suresh Garimella, to fulfill with new energies and probably in new ways, the tall and noble mission of a land grant university.

No doubt your search committee expended unsparing efforts and rigor in the review of Suresh. You are now acquainted with his prolific research and patents, excellence in teaching, his love for the arts, impressive growth in research grants that bucks the national trend, and the string of recognition by peers both in and outside of Purdue.

But these considerations recede into the background as your focus is not about the past. Today we stand at the precipice of the future. It is only natural to wonder how Suresh will be worthy of you (students, faculty, trustees, alumni, donors, neighbors), your collective accomplishments with and from which he will build, your talents and energies, and most important your aspirations, both institutional and personal. How will you be better together? How will you jointly step up to make the world more livable, more prosperous and more compassionate? What value and values does Suresh bring as a leader?

These questions boil down to the singular requirement for leadership: TRUST. Trust around 2 questions: Where will Suresh lead you and how will he lead you? How will he create value from your work and open doors that expand the impact of your scholarship? Who is he as a person whose words and actions can build up or tear down people, enable or hinder progress, energize or dampen spirits?

Let me take up these two questions. Where will Suresh lead you? I hope you like to travel: as you will surely cross geographic lines: those which cross traditional disciplinary lines which divide laboratories from seminar tables; administrative suites from faculty offices and student residences; town from gown; Burlington from Vermont, or U.S. from the world. He will coax you beyond comfort zones and venture across sectors to build relationships between academia, government, practitioners, and civil society. Suresh is unmatched at connecting dots!!!!

Connecting dots is the signature of Suresh’s leadership. This has enabled him, an engineer, to harvest the largest growth in funding for the life sciences at Purdue in collaboration with the natural and physical sciences, engineering, veterinary medicine, other universities and multiple companies. It is this same skill that brought about the highly productive and multi-faceted partnership between Purdue University and my organization, Catholic Relief Services, which operates in over 100 of the poorest and most vulnerable countries. Together, through new technology and proven know-how, we formulate holistic solutions to address the economic, social, political and technological drivers for long term, sustained success. Suresh’s vision similarly underlies the joint partnership between Arequipa in Peru and Purdue social scientists, economists, agronomists, engineers, education faculty, etc. to utilize mining revenues towards a just and prosperous transition for the Peruvian people.

This capacity stems from personal values and traits. Suresh has an appreciation for the contribution of each person, each discipline and organization. He welcomes the richer perspectives that emanate from differences in people and disciplines. This understanding is complemented by a deep sense of how the whole is more powerful than the parts. Suresh’s own passion and compassion inspire parties to come together for common cause and greater good. He has an innate wisdom that sees how people and Institutions can win together. Because he works for the good of the institution and for the mutual benefits of each partner, people trust Suresh and are willing to take on the obstacles.

The colleagues who worked for Suresh described him as “delightfully demanding.” At his farewell gathering, all speakers remarked on his ability to truly listen and incorporate advice without getting bogged down in decision paralysis. He is optimistic and at the same time pragmatic; he asks a lot and gives a lot; his handshake is fortified by clear articulation of objectives and systematic review of progress.

To you, my Vermont friends, I have two pieces of advice. First, seek opportunities to work with Suresh as people who have done so in the last cannot hold back their gratitude for how he empowered them, supported them, drew out their strengths, and helped them transcend their own expectations. Suresh will make you better: for your own development, for the university and for humanity.

Second: take care of him as I know he will give everything he has to take care of you.

Read Dr. Woo's bio

From 2012 to 2016, Carolyn was President & CEO of Catholic Relief Services, the official international humanitarian agency of the US Catholic Church which serves over 100 million people per year in over a hundred countries. In 2017, she was named the Distinguished President’s Fellow for Global Development at Purdue University. From 1997 to 2011, Dr. Woo served as dean of the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. During her tenure, the Mendoza College was ranked the top undergraduate business program by Bloomberg magazine and recognized broadly for its leadership in business ethics. Prior to the University of Notre Dame, Carolyn served as associate executive vice president for academic affairs at Purdue University.

Dr. Woo has engaged extensively over the last two decades in ESG Investing, corporate social responsibility and peace through commerce. She was one of five presenters in Rome at the release of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment in June 2015. Woo formulated the first two Vatican Impact Investing conferences in 2014 and 2016, and co-coordinated the dialogue on the environment between energy and investment company CEOs at the Vatican in 2018. She currently serves on the boards of Aon Corporation, NiSource Inc., and Arabesque Partners which uses big data and analytics to monitor the ESG performance of companies over the world. In addition, she serves on the boards of six Catholic organizations.

Woo’s faith journey and work at CRS are recounted in her book, Working for a Better World, published in 2015 by Our Sunday Visitor. She was featured in the May/June 2013 issue of Foreign Policy as one of the 500 Most Powerful people on the planet and one of only 33 in the category of “a force for good.” Carolyn’s Catholic News Service monthly column took first place in the 2013 Catholic Press Association Awards in the category of Best Regular Column—Spiritual Life

Carolyn is married to Dr. David E. Bartkus. They have two sons, Ryan and Justin.

 

A reading

Marianne Boruch reads "Chinese Brush Work"

Read Professor Boruch's bio

Poet and essayist Marianne Boruch grew up in Chicago. She is the author of ten collections of poetry, most recently The Anti-Grief (2019), Eventually One Dreams the Real Thing (2016), Cadaver, Speak (2014), and The Book of Hours (2011), a Kingsley-Tufts Poetry Award winner, all from Copper Canyon Press. She’s published a memoir, The Glimpse Traveler (Indiana, 2011), about hitchhiking in the early 1970s, and three essay collections on poetry—The Little Death of Self (Michigan, 2017), In the Blue Pharmacy (Trinity, 2005), and Poetry’s Old Air (Michigan, 1995). Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, FIELD, London Review of Books, Narrative, The Nation, The New York Review of Books, Ploughshares, Poetry, anthologies such as Best American Poetry, and elsewhere.

Her honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts; and residencies from the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, the American Academy in Rome, Djerassi, the Anderson Center, and two national parks--Denali and Isle Royale. She was awarded a Fulbright Visiting Professorship at the University of Edinburgh in 2012, and earlier this year from the American/Australian Fulbright Commission, a Senior Research Scholarship at the International Poetry Studies Institute at the University of Canberra. From February through July, she observed the astonishing wildlife in that country, preparing to write a sequence of poems, a neo-medieval/ancient bestiary, of sorts.

After earning her MFA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Boruch taught at Tunghai University and the University of Maine at Farmington before going on to develop and direct the MFA Program in English at Purdue University in 1987. Having taught there for thirty-two years, Boruch has now gone emerita though she continues on faculty (since 1988) in the low-residency Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. Summer conferences where she has run poetry workshops include Bread Loaf, RopeWalk, Bear River, and the Haystack School of the Arts.

 

Opening remarks

Board Chair David Daigle, Gov. Phil Scott, and Sen. Patrick Leahy
 

Closing remarks

Board Vice Chair Ron Lumbra

 

On teaching 

Watch Justin A. Weibel's remarks at the luncheon

Read Justin Weibel's bio

Justin A. Weibel is a research associate professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University and director of the Cooling Technologies Research Center, a graduated NSF I/UCRC that addresses research and development needs of companies and organizations in the area of high-performance heat removal from compact spaces. He received his Ph.D. in 2012 and bachelor of science in mechanical engineering in 2007, both from Purdue University.

Dr. Weibel’s research explores methodologies for prediction and control of heat transport to enhance the performance and efficiency of thermal management technologies and energy transfer processes. He has been a key contributor to the development of transformative high-heat-flux cooling technologies supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Thermal Ground Plane (2008–2012), DARPA ICECool (2013–2017), Naval Sea Systems Command Naval Engineering Education Consortium (2016–2018), and the Office of Naval Research NEPTUNE (2015–2020) programs, in addition to numerous sponsored research projects that transition these technologies to industry. Dr. Weibel will be the general chair of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) ITherm Conference in 2021 and is associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Components Packaging and Manufacturing Technology.

Dr. Weibel’s academic record includes the supervision of 29 Ph.D. and master’s degree students and authorship of over 120 refereed journal and conference papers. He was recently recognized as Outstanding Engineering Teacher by the College of Engineering at Purdue University and received the 2011 ASME Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division Student Member of the Year Award.

 

 

On statesmanship

Watch Juan Ernesto de Bedout's remarks at the luncheon

Read Juan Ernesto de Bedout's bio

Juan Ernesto de Bedout was born in Medellín, Colombia, and lives in Atlanta, Georgia. He retired in 2011 as group president of Latin American Operations for Kimberly-Clark Corporation, maker of Huggies, Kleenex, and Scott consumer products, where he was responsible for industrial and business units in 22 Central American, South American, and Caribbean countries. He started in 1981 as managing director and, following subsequent executive roles, was elected group president in 1999, leading numerous expansions, mergers, acquisitions, and strategic alliances throughout the region.

Personally fulfilling was blending multiple entrepreneurship styles to form a winning culture that led to multi-year recognitions as the best place to work in Latin America by the Great Place to Work Institute.

Mr. de Bedout was a director of VF Corporation, maker of lifestyle brands The North Face, Timberland, and Vans, serving on the executive, audit, and finance committees.

A passionate advocate for education, Mr. de Bedout is immediate past chair of Purdue University’s Engineering Advisory Council, a member of the university’s Industrial Engineering and Strategic Research Advisory Councils, the Purdue Policy Research Institute External Advisory Committee, and the Penn State Consortium for Digital Enterprises Industry Advisory Board.

Of great pride are the strategically impactful mutual-benefit programs in the Colombia–Purdue Initiative he helped forge, previously known as the Colombia–Purdue Institute for Advanced Scientific Research.

Following high school in Colombia, Mr. de Bedout earned industrial engineering bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Purdue, where he also received the Outstanding Industrial Engineer, Distinguished Engineering Alumnus, and Engineering Alumni Association Service awards; was selected by the students as an Old Master; and was awarded an honorary doctorate in Engineering.

 

A profile of the president

Read "A Life of Learning"
President Garimella's journey to the University of Vermont