Alumni director's message: New life on campus

Some people think of summer as a season of long, lazy, carefree days. They view autumn as a time when the world prepares to go into hibernation for the winter--the leaves turn color, fall from the trees and die; the temperature cools; we all turn on the heat and bundle up (preferably in Tartans clothing).

But those of us on campus at Carnegie Mellon see the world differently. For us, summer is far from lazy, and autumn is a time of new beginnings and new promise.

It's true that campus is quieter during the summer. Some of our students have graduated and gone on to work or graduate school. Others have gone away for the summer, in many cases for internships, where they further their computer science learning while getting paid at the same time, working with some famous names in the computer industry and some soon-to-be-famous startup companies. They all acquire great stories and great contacts.

We were busy this summer too, seeing many of you at alumni and new student/parent events in Boston, San Diego, Seattle and the Bay Area, among others. The combined SCS/ECE alumni gatherings included boat cruises and other lovely venues, and it was fantastic to see several hundred alumni and families during these events. We were fortunate to have School of Computer Science Dean Randy Bryant and ECE Department Head Ed Schlesinger join us for these events.

Now we're back on campus, and as summer waned, campus became far more active! Students returned from their summer jobs (and other, less lucrative, adventures), and re-immersed themselves into campus life, classes and friendships that were carried on mostly electronically over the summer. New undergraduate and graduate students nervously made their appearance, got to know our faculty and worked out which classes they wanted to take. Most of you reading this letter will recall the feeling of excitement and buzz in the air during the first few days you spent on the Carnegie Mellon campus--whether in Pittsburgh, Doha, Silicon Valley or elsewhere.

We are looking forward to an exciting fall. We've already broken ground on the new Scott Institute for Energy Innovation--a campus-wide initiative looking into future energy sources, uses and innovation.

In early October, we celebrated Cèilidh, a combination of homecoming and family weekend. For SCS, this year's Cèilidh was highlighted by the debut of Polaris, the prototype for a new solar-powered lunar rover designed to search for ice at the moon's poles. Developed by CMU spinoff Astrobotic Technology, Polaris was designed under the guidance of Red Whittaker (E'75,'79), the company's CEO, CMU's Fredkin Professor of Robotics and director and founder of the Field Robotics Center at our Robotics Institute. Astrobotic, in partnership with the university, is trying to win the $20 million Google Lunar X Prize.

Alumni, parents and students who participated in Cèilidh got to meet Red and see Polaris up-close on Oct. 6 in the highbay of the Planetary Robotics Center, several days before the rover prototype was revealed to the rest of the world.

If you missed Cèilidh this year, it's not your only chance to visit us on campus this fall and winter. There are always a variety of events on campus, including very interesting speakers and activities, which are open to alumni and other visitors. For the latest news, check out the SCS calendar at, "like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @SCSatCMU. We'll also being looking for you at Spring Carnival, April 18-20, 2013. (We are also planning a new-look SCS alumni page soon--watch this space!)

Our campus--your campus--is alive and abuzz with students, staff and faculty, all going about the life of the university--in some ways timeless and familiar--in others, new and different every year.

We look forward to seeing you here and "on the road" when we visit the worldwide Carnegie Mellon community!

--Tina M. Carr (HNZ'02)
Director of Alumni Relations

Philip L. Lehman (CS'78, '84)
Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives
For More Information: 
Jason Togyer | 412-268-8721 |