Dr. Richard E. Marburger
Richard E. Marburger, a former General Motors researcher, has served over 42 years in Lawrence Tech teaching and administrative roles, including serving as the University's fourth president from 1977 to 1993.
A gifted and popular teacher, in retirement he continues to serve Lawrence Tech students on a near daily basis as a volunteer academic advisor, tutor and mentor.
Marburger was an early proponent of computers to aid the educational process, and during his presidency, the campus-wide distribution and adoption of computers for teaching, research, business, and communications occurred. Marburger insisted that all campus machines be able to “talk” with each other, seamless interaction rare at the time but an attribute he thought essential to assuring the cohesion of the Lawrence Tech learning community. Campus e-mail was inaugurated in 1982. The Wayne H. Buell Management Building, the Don Ridler Field House, and a major addition to the Engineering Building opened. Lawrence Tech’s first major capital campaign was launched and concluded over goal. He initiated the return of graduate programs to Lawrence Tech and led Lawrence Tech’s change of status from an institute of technology to university in 1989.
Marburger is chairman of the board of the AGBU Alex and Marie Manoogian School. He is a past president of the Engineering Society of Detroit, the Detroit Metropolitan Science Teachers Association, and Science and Engineering Fair of Metropolitan Detroit. He is also past chairman of the Southfield Planning Commission and the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Michigan.
Joining the adjunct faculty in 1965, he was named to the full-time faculty in 1969 and then led the College of Arts and Sciences before being named vice president for academic affairs (provost) of the University. He holds three degrees in physics from Wayne State University, including the Ph.D. Among numerous awards for scientific accomplishment and leadership, he was named a Distinguished Alumnus of Wayne, elected to the national honorary scientific society, Sigma Xi, and has received the Engineering Society of Detroit’s coveted Gold Award and Rackham Humanitarian Award. He received the Doctor of Engineering, honoris causa, from Lawrence Tech in 1993.
A state champion spelling bee winner in the 1940s and a proponent of strong communication skills for students, Marburger rescued and reinvigorated the Michigan Spelling Bee and administered it through the University for over a decade.
During 17 years with the General Motors Research Laboratories, he made many important contributions to technology including X-ray diffraction techniques.
Dr. Charles M. Chambers
June 22, 1941 - May 20, 2009
Charles M. Chambers served as Lawrence Technological University's fifth president from 1993 to 2006, an era of remarkable progress at Lawrence Tech. Following his presidency, Dr. Chambers served as the University's first chancellor, from February 1 to July 1, 2006, when he was named president emeritus. He passed away at the age of 67 on May 20, 2009 near his home in Alexandria, VA.
"Lawrence Tech and the entire higher education community have lost one of our most outstanding advocates and visionaries," said Lewis N. Walker, who succeeded Dr. Chambers as president and had served as provost, the university's chief academic officer, during nearly all of Dr. Chambers' presidency.
President Walker led a campus memorial service June 18, 2009, that included several hundred faculty, staff, alumni, friends, and colleagues from the business and professional communities, government leaders, and others as well as Dr. Chambers' wife, Barbara, and family members. Nearly a dozen speakers remembered Dr. Chambers for his leadership, wit, wisdom, and humanity.
"The long career of Charles Chambers was distinguished by both his breadth and substance as a researcher, teacher, counselor, and administrative leader," Dr. Walker said. "At Lawrence Tech, his presidency inaugurated the largest expansion of facilities in our history, and the highest level of fund-raising success we had achieved to that time. Beyond the vast improvements to our campus, through his leadership we also made tremendous progress in many other areas that led to Lawrence Tech's emergence as one of Michigan's preeminent private universities."
Shortly after Dr. Chambers retired, the University successfully concluded a $46 million capital campaign that had been launched during his presidency and had twice been expanded beyond its original goal. During his tenure, Lawrence Tech became Michigan's first wireless laptop campus. The University built the $20 million University Technology and Learning Center, the $12 million Student Housing Center-North, the $14.9 million A. Alfred Taubman Student Services Center, and the $3.2 million Center for Innovative Materials Research. Other initiatives included the extensive redevelopment of the campus quadrangle incorporating numerous "green" environmental features. Millions of dollars more were invested in upgrading older facilities on Lawrence Tech's 102-acre campus.
Student scholarships, community outreach, and the growth and expansion of applied research and academic offerings also accelerated, including the launch of Lawrence Tech's first doctoral programs and the establishment of learning centers and higher education partnerships elsewhere in Michigan, Canada, Germany, Mexico, and Asia. The number of master's programs at the University jumped from three to 23.
For the 10 years prior to joining Lawrence Tech, Dr. Chambers was president of the American Foundation for Biological Sciences, a consortium of over 50 scientific laboratories, museums, and societies headquartered in Washington, D.C. Earlier, he served on the faculties of Harvard University, the University of Alabama, and George Washington University, where he was also a dean for graduate evening programs.
An expert in accreditation, he was a past president of the American Association of University Administrators. He led numerous accrediting teams visiting university campuses for the North Central Association. He also served as a consultant to the Congress and to many government agencies.
As an aerospace engineer with NASA in the 1960s, he participated in the Apollo program that landed men on the moon. Dr. Chambers held three degrees, including the PhD in physics, from the University of Alabama and earned a law degree, with honors, from George Washington University.
In 1992 he was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2006 he was named a fellow of the Engineering Society of Detroit (ESD) and in recognition of his accomplishments and service to higher education and the University, he was awarded a Doctor of Science degree, honoris causa, from Lawrence Tech. In 2007 he was recognized as a life member of the Detroit Economic Club (DEC).
A founding director of Automation Alley, he also served as a director of the ESD, DEC, Detroit Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the WIRED (Workforce Investment for Regional Economic Development) advisory board of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Detroit Renaissance Steering Committee, the Oakland County Workforce Development Board, and the Education Foundation of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, where he chaired the nominating committee. He was a member of the Oakland County Business Roundtable. In 2006, he was a candidate for the Oakland Community College board of trustees. Most recently, he was co-chair of the Coalition Fueling Michigan's Future.
Dr. Chambers' survivors include his wife, Barbara, and four adult children.
President Chambers' legacy is being continued through Lawrence Technological University's Charles M. Chambers Endowed Scholarship Fund, Office of University Advancement, 21000 W. Ten Mile Road., Southfield, MI 48075-1058.