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$5M donated to HWS Science Center

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  • Staff Report 

For Kevin Stein ’88, studying science and math is like “learning a language” — one that’s “practical, pragmatic and teaches wonderful problem-solving skills.”

To expose more students “to a topnotch science education in a liberal arts environment” and encourage “well-rounded practitioners of this wonderful language,” Stein and his family have committed a leadership gift of $5 million that will anchor the development of a new science facility at Hobart and William Smith.

“Our faculty and students will benefit tremendously from the new science center and the Stein family’s support for the life-changing teaching, mentorship and research opportunities that take place at the Colleges,” says Hobart and William Smith President Mark D. Gearan. “In his professional success and his commitment to HWS, Kevin exemplifies the power of the liberal arts and sciences — from research and mentorship on campus, to a prestigious graduate program and career, to supporting our community and helping generations of students. We are thrilled to embark on this exciting project as this gift ignites our plans moving forward.”Stein is President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of TransDigm Group Inc., a leading global producer, designer and supplier of highly engineered aerospace components, systems and subsystems to commercial aerospace and military programs around the world. As a public company, TransDigm Group sits on the S&P 500 and has been named to the Forbes list of the World’s Top Innovation Companies.

STEM fields were always a passion, but it was at HWS where Stein found “the mentoring and close relationship with faculty members, advisors, deans and presidents that was instrumental in my career,” he says. Teachers like the late Professor of Chemistry Romana Lashewycz-Rubycz and Professor Emeritus of Chemistry Kenneth Carle P’82, P’84, P’90 inspired him to “chase the challenges” and “keep learning new things. That started at HWS, where you have the opportunity — and I took advantage of it — to take classes in the sciences, music, history, literature, foreign languages, art history. It’s pretty awesome that I can give back to the institution that really molded me and gave me a sense of purpose and commitment to community.”

During a recent visit to campus, Stein sat in on an organic chemistry class and saw “how engaged [faculty] are in research and with their students.… I loved it.” He adds, “You want to make sure that an institution like HWS has the resources it needs to support this kind of faculty and these students who can become the next topnotch scientists and problem solvers of the future.”

To learn more about the science center project, contact Vice President for Advancement Bob O’Connor P’22, P’23 at [email protected] or (315) 781-3535.

Stein joined TransDigm as Chief Operating Officer of the Power & Control Group businesses in 2014 and became President and Chief Operating Officer in 2016. He was appointed President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of TransDigm in 2018. Stein previously served as the Executive Vice President and President of the Fasteners and Structural Castings divisions at Precision Castparts Corporation. His past roles include President of the Cooper Bussmann division of Cooper Industries, as well as general manager of Tyco Electronics Raychem Circuit Protection business.

As a student, Stein was a Druid and a member of the Deans’ Council. During his senior year, he received the Jensen Memorial Research Grant through the Rochester Academy of Science and the Durfee Award, given annually to Hobart’s most outstanding graduate. He graduated with high Honors in chemistry and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and went on to earn his master’s in chemistry and Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry, both from Stanford University.

His past support for HWS includes the Dr. Kevin M. Stein ’88 and Family Endowed Summer Science Research Fund, which provides funding to students who spend the summer months on campus working intensively with a faculty member.