Four Large Gifts to Bolster ENG Faculty

David E. Hollowell (ENG'69,'72, GSM'74)
David E. Hollowell (ENG'69,'72, GSM'74)

Three College of Engineering alumni and a professor emeritus have committed large gifts to continue to build the strength of the faculty. Presented by longtime friends and leaders of the College, these four gifts are expected to greatly benefit research and teaching programs by supporting the recruitment, retention and development of exceptional faculty.

David E. Hollowell (ENG’69, ‘72, GSM’74) and Professor Emeritus Charles Cantor (BME, MED) have committed planned gifts that will establish professorships in their names. Peter Levine (ENG’83) and Roger Dorf (MS, MFG’70) have made major gifts that will establish a career development professorship fund and a distinguished faculty fellow award, respectively.

“The College’s future will depend on the strength of its faculty and these four very generous individuals are helping to ensure that we will be able to attract and retain excellent faculty for many years to come,” said Dean Kenneth R. Lutchen. “These gifts from people who know the College well represent a strong commitment its future and its ability to impact society.”

David E. Hollowell Professorship of Engineering

David E. Hollowell (ENG’69,’72, GSM’74), an expert in higher education finance, administrative management and executive leadership, has established, through Boston University’s Planned Giving Office, a charitable remainder trust that will eventually create the David E. Hollowell Professorship of Engineering.

“Endowed professorships are a very powerful mechanism for attracting and recognizing the most outstanding teacher-scholars,” said Hollowell. “I hope that this endowment will assist the College in its continuing quest for excellence in teaching and research.”

Hollowell is a member of Boston University’s Board of Overseers; co-chair of the BU Annual Fund with his wife, Kathleen (GRS’71, SED’77); a member of the College of Engineering’s Campaign Steering Committee; past president of the BU Alumni Association; and past president and member of the ENG alumni board from 1971 to 1987.

He served as senior vice president and subsequently as executive vice president and treasurer at the University of Delaware from 1988 to 2008, where he took a leading role in streamlining administrative procedures and oversaw a significant campus renewal and expansion program. Previously, Hollowell worked for BU from 1969 to 1987, overseeing a wide range of university operations in his ultimate role as vice president for administration. His work in expanding the BU and UD campuses earned him honorary membership in the American Institute of Architects. He is a past president of the Society for College and University Planning and served as a director of WSFS Financial Corporation for 13 years.

The recipient of many honors from professional and community organizations recognizing his service, Hollowell earned a bachelor’s degree in Information Engineering, a master’s in Manufacturing Engineering and an MBA, all at BU.

Charles Cantor Professorship of Engineering

Professor Emeritus Charles Cantor (BME, MED), a pioneer in systems and synthetic biology who is a member of the National Academy of Science, once directed the Human Genome Project and was recently named a Charter Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), has included in his estate plan the Charles Cantor Professorship of Engineering in cell or molecular bio-engineering.

“Endowed professorships are essential if universities are to remain effective in attracting and retaining world class academic talent,” said Cantor, who chaired the Biomedical Engineering Department in the 1990s, “and I am happy to be able to help BU achieve these aims.”

In a career spanning more than five decades, he has co-authored a seminal three-volume textbook on biophysical chemistry and the first genomics textbook; published more than 450 peer reviewed articles; generated 54 US patents; developed several biotech companies; and received many prestigious awards and honors, from membership in the National Academy of Sciences to induction as a Guggenheim Fellow and as an American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering Fellow. Prior to joining the BU faculty in 1992, he held positions at Columbia University and the University of California, Berkeley.

Cantor’s research is focused on identifying biological problems that are resistant to conventional analytical approaches and then developing new methodologies or techniques for solving these problems.

As director of the Center for Advanced Biotechnology at Boston University, Cantor has developed methods for separating large DNA molecules, for studying structural relationships in complex assemblies of proteins and nucleic acids, and for sensitive detection of proteins and nucleic acids in a variety of settings. His current interests include the development of improved methods for noninvasive prenatal diagnostics, cancer diagnostics, early noninvasive detection of other clinical conditions, mass spectrometry of nucleic acids, improvement of methods for detection of specific RNA sequences in living cells and organisms, methods for protection of organisms and materials from oxidative damage, and new uses for nucleic acid analysis including DNA-based array detectors.

Peter J. Levine Career Development Professorship Fund

Peter Levine (ENG’83) has pledged $300,000 to establish the Peter J. Levine Career Development Professorship Fund, which will attract and support promising junior faculty to the College of Engineering.

The fund will support two consecutive faculty members over a six-year period. They will receive support for their first three years as newly recruited members of the Engineering faculty.

“I am proud to support Dean Lutchen in his efforts to attract, recruit and develop top-notch junior faculty who will not only advance their fields but also impacting the world beyond the lab,” said Levine.

A newly appointed member of the Boston University Board of Trustees and ENG Dean’s Leadership Advisory Board, Levine is a general partner at Andreesen Horowitz, a leading Silicon Valley high tech venture capital firm.

Levine has more than 20 years of experience in the software industry, working in engineering, sales, marketing and executive management in startup and corporate environments. He has served in many executive positions at software companies, including Citrix Systems, Inc., Xensource Inc., and Veritas Software Corp. In addition to earning his bachelor’s degree in engineering at BU, Levine attended MIT’s Sloan School of Management. He is a management lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a former entrepreneurship lecturer at the Sloan School.

Dorf-Ebner Distinguished Faculty Fellow Award

Roger Dorf (MS, MFG’70) has pledged $500,000 to establish the Dorf-Ebner Distinguished Faculty Fellow Award, which will support a mid-career College of Engineering faculty member who has demonstrated exceptional excellence, innovation and impact in both research and teaching, and who is clearly on track to become a senior leader in his or her area field.

Named in memory of Professor Merrill Ebner (MFG), Dorf’s mentor and pioneer of the field of manufacturing engineering, the award will provide each recipient with funding for five years for discretionary initiatives in research and/or education. The first recipient will be named by the end of the 2013-2014 academic year.

“Merrill Ebner was a pioneer in manufacturing engineering education, establishing the College of Engineering as a leader in the US in the late ‘60s,” said Dorf. “ENG has continued to show great foresight and leadership over the years in establishing meaningful and timely programs from the establishment of the Biomedical Engineering Department to the implementation of Societal Engineer initiatives and the Engineering Product Innovation Center. This award is meant to support some of the very talented faculty members who will be key to that continued leadership.”

A member of the College of Engineering Dean’s Leadership Advisory Board, chair of the ENG Campaign Steering Committee, and co-chair of the BU Texas Regional Campaign Committee, Dorf is a recipient of both the ENG and BU Distinguished Alumni Awards. He served for more than 40 years in executive and engineering leadership before retiring from his position as vice president of Cisco Systems in 2009. He previously served as president and CEO of Navini Networks, and in leadership positions at Celite Systems, Nortel Network, Synch Research, AT&T, Cullinet Software and IBM.

Based in Dallas, Texas, Dorf is active in several organizations including the Community Foundation of the Gunnison Valley in Gunnison, Colorado, the US Chamber of Commerce, and Missouri University of Science & Technology.


Professor Emeritus Charles Cantor (BME, MED)
Professor Emeritus Charles Cantor (BME, MED)

Peter Levine (ENG'83)
Peter Levine (ENG'83)