John Somerhalder ’77 and his wife, Rebecca, have made a $1 million gift to the Dean’s Endowed Fund for Excellence in Engineering, a crucial resource for College of Engineering Dean Jeffrey Goldberg and future deans of the college.
This year, Goldberg will use the funding to train faculty in collaborative teaching. Instructors of freshman- and sophomore-level courses are learning to maximize students’ active participation using technology, interactive learning and small-group learning cohorts.
Somerhalder is a shining example not only of a College of Engineering alumnus, says Goldberg, but also of the state university system.
“He was an Arizona kid, and he made great. He got a strong education here, worked really hard, had some good luck and moved up through the energy industry. Now he gives back to his communities,” he says.
Somerhalder continues to serve as an industry and civic leader after retiring as CEO and board chair at Atlanta-based AGL Resources, the nation’s largest natural gas-only distribution utility.