In a momentous occasion, marking yet another ‘first’ in Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s esteemed 200-year legacy, 2014 witnessed an interstellar connection during its Reunion & Homecoming Weekend. Alumnus and NASA Astronaut Reid Wiseman ‘97 made history by joining the celebrations live from the vast expanse of the International Space Station. Never before had the bounds of space been traversed in such a manner for a reunion at Rensselaer. A convergence of the past with the future, it symbolized the boundless potential and reach of the RPI community, transcending not just years, but also the very frontiers of Earth!
- March 2017
Physiological Test for Autism
March 2017 marked an unparalleled achievement in Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s rich 200-year legacy. For the first time, RPI researchers pioneered a groundbreaking physiological test for autism, a transformative milestone in the medical realm. Using an algorithm predicated on metabolite levels in blood samples, they achieved unprecedented accuracy in predicting autism spectrum disorders (ASD). This revolutionary innovation not only paves the way for earlier and more reliable ASD diagnoses but also heralds a hopeful future for therapeutic developments. Once again, Rensselaer stands at the frontier of scientific discovery, championing change and hope for countless families.
- November 2018
Brig. Gen. Kimberly Colloton
In an unparalleled moment within Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s 200-year legacy, we celebrate a monumental stride for one of our own. Brig. Gen. Kimberly Colloton ’92, a Rensselaer luminary, was elevated to the rank of brigadier general in the U.S. Army during a poignant ceremony at our Heffner Alumni House on Nov. 20, 2018. With this distinction, she etched history as the first female commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ South Pacific Division. A dual degree holder from Rensselaer, Brig. Gen. Colloton’s journey was initiated here, where she was commissioned into the Engineer Regiment via RPI’s ROTC in 1992. Her illustrious career has seen diverse assignments across the globe. At the helm of the South Pacific Division, she spearheads an impressive troop of over 2,300, overseeing a mammoth military and civil works agenda.
In 2019, the annals of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute gleamed with a historic first as Jeffrey Kodosky, an illustrious alumnus from the Class of 1970, was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. This singular honor, a testament to Kodosky’s trailblazing ingenuity, showcased RPI’s enduring legacy in nurturing inventive minds over its 200-year history. Partnering with James Truchard, Kodosky forged LabVIEW in 1986, a revolutionary graphical programming language that empowered users to sculpt custom testing, measurement, and control systems. This invention didn’t merely rewire the paradigm of programming but underscored RPI’s rich tradition of fostering technological avant-gardists. Kodosky’s indelible mark on the realm of innovation stands as a proud chapter in Rensselaer’s extensive saga, illuminating the institute’s cradle of creative prowess, and projecting a legacy of inventive excellence onto the global stage.
- July 2019
Credit-Bearing Course with AI-assisted Immersive Classroom
In Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s illustrious 200-year history of pioneering frontiers, July 2019 marked an unparalleled milestone. For the first time, Rensselaer students will transcend geographical boundaries without ever leaving campus, thanks to an AI-assisted immersive classroom co-developed with IBM Research. This innovative learning space takes center stage in the groundbreaking “AI-Assisted Immersive Chinese” course. This six-week Mandarin Chinese curriculum offers students an experience akin to strolling the streets of Beijing, immersed in authentic language practice. It’s not merely a course; it’s a visionary leap into the future of education, reaffirming Rensselaer’s commitment to reshaping learning paradigms for a new era.
- June 2021
Schizophrenia Drug Development
In a historic first for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a groundbreaking discovery emerges from its labs. The U.S. FDA has given the nod to a transformative drug for schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder, boasting a component—samidorphan—birthed within RPI’s walls.
Merging samidorphan with established antipsychotic olanzapine, the medication, LYBALVI, was set for a Q4 2021 launch by Alkermes plc. While olanzapine is revered for its efficacy, its shadow of weight-gain side effects looms large. However, LYBALVI’s clinical trials in the ENLIGHTEN-2 study spotlighted substantially reduced weight gain, marking a significant advancement. A testament to RPI’s innovation prowess, Alkermes had secured licensing for samidorphan from Rensselaer back in 2006.
- June 2023
RPI SoA Rome Studies (40th Anniversary)
2023: RPI’s Architectural Odyssey. Celebrating the 40th milestone of the School of Architecture’s Rome Studies Program, RPI has passionately bridged ancient aesthetics with modern design ideologies. For four decades, students have been immersed in Rome’s rich architectural tapestry, cultivating both technique and reverence for historical significance. This legacy of learning underscores RPI’s dedication to global architectural enrichment, fostering graduates fluent in timeless design dialogue and poised to redefine the future.