Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

For Release — Thursday, September 6, 2001


ALBANY— Roland W. Schmitt, one of the world's leading statesmen in science and technology policy and one of New York's most influential leaders of research and development, has been chosen to receive the prestigious Corning Award for Excellence.

The award, which is sponsored by Corning Incorporated, will be presented Wednesday, Sept. 19, at The Business Council's Annual Meeting at The Sagamore in Bolton Landing. The Council's Annual Meeting will run from Sept. 19-21.

The Business Council presents the award each year to a New Yorker who has demonstrated an outstanding level of accomplishment and a deep and sustaining commitment to the people of New York State.

Schmitt is retired senior vice president for science and technology for General Electric as well as president emeritus of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is currently chairman of the Advisory Council of the New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research (NYSTAR).

"R&D at New York's corporations and universities has long given New York a competitive edge, and Roland Schmitt has dedicated his life to making research in New York and its benefits the best they can be," said John Loose, president and CEO of Corning Incorporated. "His work for GE and Rensselaer, and his national statesmanship on science and technology policy, make him a distinctively worthy recipient of the Corning Award."

"The Business Council's top priorities include better schools, more government investment in research with economic promise, and more collaboration on that research among industry, universities, and government," said Daniel B. Walsh, president/CEO of The Business Council. "Roland Schmitt has been saying the same things for decades, and New York is much better off for his leadership on these issues."

Schmitt earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Texas, and a doctorate in physics from Rice University. He also holds honorary doctoral degrees from 11 institutions.

He worked at GE for 37 years, retiring in 1988. From 1978 to 1986, he directed GE's Research and Development Center in Schenectady, one of the world's largest and most diversified industrial laboratories. After retiring in 1988, he served five more years as president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Throughout his career, he has served on many important boards that focused on issues in research and development as well as science and technology policy. For example, he served for 12 years (four as chairman) on the National Science Board, which sets policy for the National Science Foundation. He is also a past president and board member of the Industrial Research Institute.

He has also served on the executive committee of the Council on Competitiveness, as vice chairman of the New York Science and Technology Foundation, and as a member of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Advisory Board, the board of governors of the American Institute of Physics, and the Council of Scientific Society Presidents.

The Corning Award will be presented to Schmitt by John Loose, president and CEO of Corning Incorporated. The award is a magnificent piece of original Steuben Glass, handcrafted by masters in Corning, New York.

Previous Corning Award recipients are: Richard P. Mills (2000); Erland E. Kailbourne (1999); Robert B. Wegman (1998); Judith S. Kaye (1997); John J. Phelan, Jr. (1996); Barber B. Conable, Jr., (1995); James W. Kinnear (1994); Muriel Siebert (1993); Hugh L. Carey (1992); David Harden (1991); Raymond T. Schuler (1990); Warren M. Anderson and Stanley Fink (1989); Edmund T. Pratt, Jr. (1988); James D. Robinson III (1987); Franklin A. Thomas (1986); Kitty Carlisle Hart (1985); Frank T. Cary (1984); Clifton Garvin (1983); David Rockefeller (1982); Richard R. Shinn (1981); Melvin C. Holm (1980); and Walter A. Fallon (1979).