Two Case Western Reserve University alumni were added to the Board of Trustees at the governing body's October 17 meeting. Gregory L. Eastwood, M.D., who served on the board from 2003-2006 until he was named the university's interim president during 2006-2007, was reinstated to the board. Eastwood is a 1966 alumnus of the Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Larry Sears, a Cleveland-based entrepreneur, engineer and educator, was appointed to a four-year term. Sears is a 1969 graduate of the Case Institute of Technology.
In addition, Charles "Bud" Koch, a member of the board since 1999 and former chair and CEO of Charter One Financial, succeeded Frank N. Linsalata as chair. Koch will serve a two-year term. Linsalata had served as chair since 2004.
"We are pleased to welcome back Greg Eastwood and to bring an entrepreneur and educator the caliber of Larry Sears to our board," President Barbara R. Snyder said. "They are both distinguished alumni of Case Western Reserve University. I look forward to working with them and our entire board under Bud Koch's leadership. I am grateful to Frank Linsalata for his dedication to the board and this university, and to all of our trustees for their continued support."
The board named Eastwood interim president in April 2006. Before that, he was a member of Case Western Reserve's board of trustees and had served as president of SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, N.Y., since 1993. During his tenure as interim president, Eastwood improved communication among university administrators, students, faculty, staff and alumni, and in so doing, enhanced confidence in the university. When Snyder arrived in July 2007, Eastwood then agreed to serve as director of the university's Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence until Shannon French was named permanent director in July 2008.
In June 2007, Eastwood was given the university's highest honor—the University Medal, which is awarded in recognition of leadership, dedication and service to the university, to higher education and to society.
Sears is an entrepreneur who founded Cleveland-based Hexagram Inc., in 1972. In 1995, Hexagram pioneered the development of wireless automatic meter-reading systems, which allow utilities to read their customers' meters from a central location. Hexagram, now Aclara RF Technologies, has completed projects for numerous utilities, and is one of the country's largest suppliers of meter-reading systems.
Because of his keen interest in the education of electrical engineering students, Sears and his wife, Sally Zlotnick Sears, a graduate of Flora Stone Mather College and the School of Library Science, provided the largest outright contribution from an individual to the Case School of Engineering. The Sears Undergraduate Design Laboratory contributes to the school's core educational mission while raising the visibility of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS). The Sears' $5.9 million gift in March 2006 funded the design, construction and endowment of the state-of-the-art facility, which opened in the Glennan Building in October 2006.
The Sears Undergraduate Design Laboratory supports all EECS circuit courses and includes a lecture hall, upgraded equipment, expanded and renovated lab space, and a student lounge and meeting area. In addition, specialized lab space is available for senior projects, sponsored interdepartmental and inter-institutional programs, individual entrepreneurial activities, and informal undergraduate projects.
Sears also currently serves on the EECS adjunct faculty where he lectures on electrical engineering.
Koch also is the immediate past chairman of the board of trustees at John Carroll University and serves on the boards of a number of Cleveland organizations. Bud and his wife, Katie, have long been supporters of university-wide initiatives. In November 2007, they were honored by the Hattie Larlham Foundation with the Rudolph H. Garfield Circle of Caring Award for their 25 years of service to the organization.
Case Western Reserve University is committed to the free exchange of ideas, reasoned debate and intellectual dialogue. Speakers and scholars with a diversity of opinions and perspectives are invited to the campus to provide the community with important points of view, some of which may be deemed controversial. The views and opinions of those invited to speak on the campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.