The first UR Arts, Sciences and Engineering Dean’s Medal was awarded to businessman and philanthropist Robert Goergen of Greenwich, Conn. This award is one of the highest honors given by the school and highlights extraordinary service, philanthropy, leadership and dedication to the University.
Award recipients are selected by the Dean of the University in consultation with other University leaders.
Goergen is a UR graduate who obtained his bachelor’s degree in physics cum laude in 1960. He later earned his master’s degree in business administration from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
His education took him far, as he is the founder, chairman and chief executive of Blyth, Inc. As one of the world’s leading marketers of candles, home fragrances and home décor products, the corporation has given Goergen a prominent presence both in and out of the business field.
For half a century, Goergen has worked with UR, assuming a substantial leadership role in the school’s development.
As a University trustee since 1982, he served as board chairman from 1991 to 2003. Goergen has also been a member of the Investment and Financial Planning Committees since 2003, was named chairman emeritus in 2008 and presently chairs the board’s Strategic Planning Advisory Committee. He has been the root of numerous monumental achievements within the University community over the years.
Goergen and his wife Pamela established the Goergen Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 1997. The annual awards are presented to faculty members who have profoundly influenced their students.
In 2000, Goergen helped to fund extensive renovation and expansion measures to create the University’s current 200,000-square-foot athletic center, which was then named in Goergen’s honor.
The 100,000-square-foot Robert B. Goergen Hall for Biomedical Engineering and Optics, also named after him, opened in 2007. It houses UR’s Institute of Optics, the Department of Biomedical Engineering, classrooms, laboratories and faculty offices.
Goergen has also contributed to the Class of 1960 Reunion Scholarship, which was established with his classmates in honor of the 25th anniversary of their UR graduation. The scholarship has given financial support to undergraduate students over the last two decades.
Ostrander is a member of the class of 2013.