After 25 years as Dean of the College of Architecture + Design, Urs Gauchat retired effective December 31, 2016. During his long and productive tenure, Gauchat ushered the school into the digital age, doubled its enrollment, and established the College of Architecture and Design by introducing programs in Interior Design, Industrial Design and Digital Design. The “Imaging Lab” became the platform for all studio work, making NJIT the first school in the nation to embrace a digital approach. Over the years, this initial effort paved the way to an Animation Lab, 3D Print Shop, Motion Capture Studio and a Digital Fabrication Lab featuring a new robotic arm that will become operational this spring. The Material Dynamics Lab reflects the College’s commitment to a broader research agenda.
Gauchat’s emphasis on positioning the school in a competitive academic and professional environment was matched by his concern for our student body. He fully appreciated the sacrifices many of our students make to complete their education while balancing family and job responsibilities. Of all his accomplishments he was perhaps most proud of the scholarship funds he raised to benefit our students -- over 30 individual scholarships, many of them endowed by alumni of the school, distributing over $60,000 annually. As Urs liked to say in his annual peroration to the graduating students, “It is important in life to make a difference.” He certainly left his mark at NJIT.