Joe Negler Donates $3.7 Million To CU-Boulder For Endowed Chairs In Engineering And Music

Published: May 15, 2001

CU-Boulder Chancellor Richard Byyny announced today that Joe Negler has donated $3.7 million to establish an endowed chair in the College of Engineering and Applied Science. Negler also established the first endowed chair in the College of Music.

"The Negler gift for endowed chairs allows a university such as ours the opportunity to attract, honor and retain some of the best teaching and research talent in the nation," according to Byyny. "That talent, in turn, attracts leading students to our campus."

Negler commented that the University of Colorado played an important role in his personal and professional growth over the years. "The university continues to grow and establish new frontiers and initiatives that will significantly affect the educational process and focus at all levels of education. My support to the vision of the university is one way to encourage and nurture that progress," Negler said.

Negler came to Boulder in 1965 to help establish and staff the IBM Boulder plant. He attended the University of Colorado at Denver while completing his degree in physics. In addition, Joe is a certified IBM trained and educated toolmaker. After his career with IBM, Negler became involved in a number of startup companies including Xertex Technologies, which was a spinoff company of the Robert and Beverly Deming Center for Entrepreneurship at CU-Boulder's College of Business.

A jazz enthusiast, Negler has contributed generously to student scholarships in the College of Music and he participates in the Adopt-A-Student Scholarship Program. In addition, he has a long association with the College of Engineering as an industry adviser and is a member of the Engineering Resource Development Committee.

Professor Melvin Branch was selected by the College of Engineering to hold the Joseph Negler Endowed Chair in Engineering for a period of five years. Branch is currently a professor of mechanical engineering and associate dean of engineering for research and administration at CU-Boulder. He studied aerospace and mechanical sciences at Princeton University and was awarded his bachelor's degree in 1966, and received his master's and doctoral degrees from the University of California at Berkeley in 1968 and 1971.

Branch was awarded a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship to conduct basic combustion studies at the University of London. He also taught previously at the International College in Beirut, Lebanon, the University of California at Berkeley, and was an invited visiting professor at Cairo University in Egypt and the Universite' Catholique de Louvain in Belgium. Branch teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on combustion fundamentals, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, applied thermodynamics and fuel technology.

The College of Music has not yet announced their selection to hold the Joseph Negler Endowed Chair in Music.

Endowments are an arrangement in which the principal of a donation is invested, and a portion of the annual return from that investment is directed toward a specified program. In this case, the endowed chairs fund the leadership positions of departments with supplemental compensation and assistance for staffing and research. The minimum donation to name an endowed chair at CU-Boulder is $1.5 million. A named professorship is $500,000.

"Endowed chairs are being sought for all schools and colleges at the university," according to Myrna Hall, the University of Colorado Foundation's vice president for development at Boulder. "Sixteen endowed chairs currently exist on the Boulder campus and we're looking to double that number in the near future."