Samuel Ginn College of Engineering receives gift to endow faculty chair

Published: September 12, 2014
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Through an endowment to enhance faculty support within Auburn University’s Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, Charles E. and Carol Ann Gavin of Dalton, Georgia, have created a faculty chair within the college. The inaugural recipient of the Gavin Chair is Bruce Tatarchuk, director of Auburn’s Microfibrous Materials Manufacturing Center and professor of chemical engineering.

Gavin, chairman of the board for MFG Chemical Inc., received a bachelor’s degree in textile management from Auburn University in 1959, as well as an executive MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has held a number of senior level positions within the carpet and chemical industries including vice president of manufacturing for Columbus Mills and vice president and director of dyeing for Coronet Industries. In 1981, he formed MFG Chemical, which provides custom manufacturing for a broad segment of the chemical industry and produces a wide range of surfactants and polymers in three manufacturing plants based in Dalton.

During his career, Gavin was instrumental in new developments in acid-dyed carpet lines and the dyeing of polyester carpet. In 2003, he was named Auburn University’s Outstanding Textile Engineering Alumnus. He is a past president and treasurer of the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists and has served as chair of the association’s Foundation, being the first contributor in its formation. He was named treasurer emeritus upon his retirement. In addition, Gavin has been recognized with the organization’s Chapin Award for his many years of service to the industry.

The Gavins’ previous contributions to Auburn include the Charles E. Gavin III Textile Chemistry Scholarship, made through the Alabama Textile Education Foundation, as well as scholarships in the Department of Polymer and Fiber Engineering and the Department of Chemical Engineering. In addition, their gift to the construction of the Shelby Center for Engineering Technology resulted in the naming of a classroom and the Dean of Engineering office suite in their honor.

An endowed faculty position epitomizes academic excellence for the recipient and a devotion to providing a quality education to Auburn students by the donor. These endowments are critical to recruiting and retaining the best faculty and represent a philanthropic investment in students’ experiences in the classroom and the university’s potential through research and outreach.

“It is imperative that the College of Engineering attract and retain faculty members who have demonstrated high levels of academic achievement,” said Christopher Roberts, dean of the college. “The Gavins’ gift is critical to our ability to build an exceptional faculty, and Dr. Tatarchuk represents the caliber of faculty we are committed to supporting on our Auburn campus.”

Tatarchuk, who holds the doctoral degree in chemical engineering from University of Wisconsin, began his career at Auburn in 1982. He has been instrumental in the development of a number of patents and inventions at Auburn, and is widely recognized as a leading authority on microfibrous materials used in air handling, as well as fuel reforming and processing and fuel cell systems.

“Bruce is one of the most creative and innovative faculty members I have had the pleasure of knowing as a colleague,” Roberts said of the appointment. “His performance over the years has been recognized at the university level and beyond, and his reputation in graduate education is beyond question.”

Tatarchuk has received numerous awards for innovations in research including Auburn’s Creative Research Award, the College of Engineering Research Award of Excellence and the U.S. Department of Energy Industrial Energy Efficiency Award.

“Carol Ann and I are extremely pleased to be able to make this gift to the College of Engineering,” said Gavin. “I credit my own success in the industry to the solid foundation that I was given at Auburn, and I believe in the goals that Dean Roberts has set for both himself and the college as it moves to the next level of engineering education.”

Faculty endowments enable Auburn University to recruit educators in key academic and research disciplines by providing resources for competitive salary packages, technology in the classroom, state-of-the-art equipment for research, and out-of-the-classroom educational opportunities.

Charitable gifts made in support of Auburn’s academic programs are received by the Auburn University Foundation. To make a tax-deductible, charitable donation to Auburn, visit www.auburn.edu/giving, or learn more about the full scope of philanthropic opportunities that can benefit the university at www.develop.auburn.edu/how.

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