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Cornell Center for Materials Research to benefit from $1 million endowment gift

CCMR Staff :: Aug 24, 2006
Cornell Center for Materials Research to benefit from $1 million endowment gift

ITHACA, NY (Bryce T. Hoffman, Cornell Staff Writer) (CCMR Staff) -- Former Cornell vice president and physics professor Robert L. Sproull and his wife, Mary, have established a significant new endowment to benefit the Cornell Center for Materials Research (CCMR).

The $1 million gift to create the Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Fund will provide a stable source of new funding to enhance the productivity, research capabilities, and reputation of the CCMR.

"I have confidence in the promise of science and engineering research in the field of materials, broadly defined," Robert Sproull said. "We expect this fund to provide the director and her associates additional flexibility in responding to opportunities and to strengthen and deepen the programs of the CCMR."

The Sproull Fund will be administered by the director of the Cornell Center for Materials Research for purposes such as:

• The establishment of an "ideas grant" to support early-stage research into high-risk, high-reward concepts.

• Support for visiting scholars of international stature in the field.

• Conference travel for graduate students, untenured faculty, and postdoctoral researchers.

• Expansion and improvement of the CCMR educational outreach program.

Sproull was a well-known figure in the emergence of materials research and solid state physics in the 1950s and '60s and had a founding role in the U.S. national program on materials science.

"Almost 50 years ago, Robert Sproull's foresight and leadership led to the creation of one of Cornell's most successful research centers, the CCMR," said CCMR Director Melissa A. Hines. "Today, with the establishment of the Sproull Fund, Robert and Mary Sproull continue this legacy. Their gift will foster the most difficult, but also most important, part of the CCMR's mission — the development of new ideas."

Today, the CCMR is one of 28 national centers for materials research funded in part by the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center program of the National Science Foundation.

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