Rensselaer in Brief

RPI has joined hundreds of institutions across the country in offering substantial financial aid to veterans under a revised government program. The Institute will be one of more than 500 colleges and universities participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program of the Post 9/11 GI Bill, passed last summer by Congress to help qualified military veterans pay for college and graduate programs.

The Yellow Ribbon Program was designed to allow such institutions to enter into an agreement with the Department of Veterans Affairs to fund tuition expenses that exceed the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition. As part of the agreement, the college or university is allowed to contribute up to 50 percent of tuition expenses, with an additional pledge from the government to match whatever amount is provided. Those deemed qualified for such assistance, for having served three years on active duty since September 11, 2001, among other factors, could then receive a college education without the worry of trying to pay for it.

Rensselaer is waiving application fees and allowing applicants to provide unofficial copies of paperwork for identification purposes to make the application process as easy as possible.

Herbert M. Clark, who discovered a rainstorm had dropped atomic-bomb fallout on Troy, died August 20 at the age of 90. Clark, a retired chemistry professor, also worked on the Manhattan Project to build the atomic bomb.

On April 26, 1953, Clark discovered atomic fallout in the city of Troy. Thirty-six hours earlier, an atomic bomb test in Nevada had sent up a huge radioactive cloud.

In addition to conducting his research, Clark spent 38 years on the Rensselaer faculty as an educator and mentor to chemists and nuclear scientists and engineers. He taught courses in analytical, environmental, general, nuclear, and physical radiation.

Clark also taught courses at colleges and industrial laboratories on the techniques of using radioactive isotopes in teaching and research using a mobile laboratory, giving students and researchers experiential opportunities with the new and powerful technology. Using the same laboratory, he taught a course at the Seoul National University in South Korea during the overthrow of the government in April 1960.

It would cost $14.8 million to restore the long-closed Proctor’s Theatre, according to a proposal submitted by a grassroots group to the City Council’s Planning Committee Tuesday night. The councilmen and members of Mayor Harry Tutunjian’s administration said they could back the plan put together by Save Troy Proctor’s.

Councilman Ken Zalewski, the committee chairman, said he would speak publicly in support of the effort. Jeff Buell, the city economic development specialist, said the project would bring people to Fourth Street and could be backed.

Erica Veil of Save Troy Proctor’s outlined a plan that would reopen the 2,300-seat theater on Fourth Street instead of seeing it demolished and replaced with offices as proposed in a plan backed by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Columbia Development, and the city. Veil said RPI has been very supportive of the group’s efforts.

Both the Save Troy Proctor’s and the RPI-Columbia proposal rely on the city obtaining a Restore NY grant for either version of the project. The city is waiting to hear on whether the state will award it a $5 million grant.

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