Establishing a Legacy

The legacy of Dr. Steven Reyer will impact MSOE students for generations to come. Today’s students are already benefitting from the $600,000 estate gift from Reyer and his wife Linda. Their gift was transformed into the Steve and Linda Reyer Endowed Fund, which will enhance the work of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department and provide meaningful experiences to students.

“This endowment is very important, as it allows our students to showcase their talent at national competitions and conferences, and gain recognition for their achievements while also helping reinforce the reputation of MSOE,” said Dr. Sheila Ross, EECS chair. 

For the first time, MSOE was able to send students to the 2020 North American Championship of the International Competitive Programming Competition (ICPC). They were successful too—ranking above Florida, Yale, NC State and Texas A&M. The annual competition is a global algorithmic programming contest for college students around the world. Through training and competition, teams of three challenged each other to raise the bar of excellence in inventing trustworthy software systems that solve a range of complex, real-world problems. 

“It’s amazing to think a small university like MSOE was competing against some of the top computer science schools in North America,” said EECS Instructor James Lembke, who accompanied the teams to Atlanta. “Without this gift we wouldn’t have had any financial means to send the students to the competition.”

“Steve and I taught together for years, and I know how dedicated he was to providing mentoring opportunities for our students,” said Dr. Steve Williams, vice president of campus infrastructure and former EECS chair at MSOE. 

Support for the future of EECS and its students will help the department grow undergraduate research, which is critical to achieving goals within the university’s strategic plan. “Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) vastly improve student engagement and retention rates by helping reduce achievement gaps, especially for students from historically excluded groups,” said Dr. RJ Nowling, assistant professor. “Funding for CUREs helps us develop a nationally recognized undergraduate research program and helps us recruit and retain a diverse and inclusive student body.”