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Unitrust to Support Scholarships and Assistantships for Students in UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

By Cynthia Machamer

Release Date: July 25, 2005

BUFFALO, N.Y -- A $1 million unitrust from Erich Bloch, B.S. '52, who has named the University at Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) as the remainder beneficiary, will support undergraduate fellowships and graduate assistantships for the school through the Erich Bloch Scholarship & Graduate Assistantship Fund.

Bloch is a principal in The Washington Advisory Group LLC, a high-powered consultancy that provides strategic counsel to the leaders of companies, universities, governments and nonprofit organizations. He also is a Distinguished Fellow at the Council on Competitiveness in Washington, D.C., a nonprofit organization that advises industry and the federal government on the long-term effectiveness of American economic policy.

UB President John B. Simpson praised Bloch as one of UB's most distinguished alumni.

"Over the years, he has given back to his alma mater in a variety of very meaningful ways, giving generously of his time, his counsel and his support," Simpson noted.

"Through this fund, he is creating the opportunities that will make it possible for future generations of promising UB scholars to follow in his remarkable footsteps. Truly, these students are the future of the engineering and applied-sciences fields. By opening doors for them, the scope and reach of our university's academic and service missions are immeasurably expanded in turn."

Mark H. Karwan, dean of SEAS, expressed gratitude for Bloch's ongoing support of the school and his foresight in planning such a gift to the school.

"His long-range vision," Karwan said, "allows us to continue to provide academic excellence and award-worthy students the funds they need to pursue that excellence here."

Up to $100,000 a year will be used for scholarships for deserving undergraduate students and/or assistantships for merited graduate students. Some of the proceeds may also be used to support special non-recurrent educational activities that prepare students for a career in engineering.

"I am eager to see UB continue to thrive," said Bloch, who was the first chair of the Dean's Advisory Council for the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

"I received an excellent undergraduate education there, and I hope to help the university continue to serve deserving students. Schools of engineering and universities are instrumental for the country's economic well-being. The U.S. can only maintain its competitive edge if our students are attracted to engineering, sciences and manufacturing, and have an educational base second to none."

A unitrust is a gift made through a will or other similar instrument and, because of its planned aspect, allows UB to plan well into the future.  Bloch's unitrust, made via a bequest expectancy, will be activated upon his death.

At the Council on Competitiveness, Bloch focuses on improving the ability of American companies and workers to compete in world markets and to maintain a rising standard of living in the United States.

Prior to joining the Council, Bloch was director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) for six years. In 1984 President Ronald Reagan awarded him the National Medal of Technology for his part in pioneering the development of the IBM/360 computer.

Before joining the NSF, Bloch spent more than 30 years with IBM in several positions: engineering manager, manager of the Solid Logic Technology Program, general manager of the Data Systems Division, and corporate vice president of technical personnel development. He holds eight patents in the computer field.

Bloch, recipient of an honorary doctorate from the State University of New York (SUNY) awarded at UB in 1985, has received three awards from the UB Alumni Association: the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1986, the Clifford C. Furnas Memorial Award in 1996, and the association's most prestigious award, the Samuel P. Capen Award, presented for notable and meritorious contributions to the university and its family, in 2004. He holds honorary degrees from 11 other colleges or universities. In 2004, the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute bestowed on him a Pioneers of Science award.

Bloch is a long-time supporter of UB. A prior gift he gave in his granddaughter's name sponsors 10 annual engineering scholarships for minority students.