The establishment of a professorship in water resources, science and engineering at MIT has been announced by the Bacardi Foundation and the Stockholm Water Foundation.
The chair, endowed with a grant of $2 million from Bacardi, was announced May 31 in New York City at the Stockholm Water Foundation's Founders' Seminar.
His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden was present at the event, at which Bacardi was installed as a Founding Member of the Stockholm Water Foundation. The foundation promotes efforts to improve global water conservation.
Attending the event from MIT were President Charles M. Vest, Provost Mark S. Wrighton, Dean of Engineering Joel Moses, Dr. Rafael L. Bras, head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the William E. Leonhard Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Barbara G. Stowe, vice president for resource development, and Professor Marten Landahl of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, who was the initial contact between MIT and the Stockholm Water Foundation.
Dr. Vest said MIT is "extremely grateful to Bacardi Ltd. for their generosity and vision in establishing the Bacardi and Stockholm Water Foundations Professorship at MIT. This is a perfect example of international cooperation in addressing a global issue: the stewardship of our environment. This professorship will strengthen MIT's research and teaching in the field of water resources, which is essential to preserving and improving the quality of life on our planet."
Professor Bras said the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering "has a long history of work on and dedication to the cause of improved water environment throughout the world. We are honored to house a Professorship sponsored by the Stockholm Water Foundation and Bacardi Ltd. This three-part relationship is a great example of how industry, academia and society at large can cooperate to promote a better environment for all. I am personally grateful to Manuel Cutillas, chairman of Bacardi, Ltd., and Bo Krantz, secretary general of the Stockholm Water Foundation, for the trust they have placed in us, and I feel confident that chairholders of the Bacardi and Stockholm Water Foundations Professorship will live up to the high standards of all three partners."
The first holder of the professorship will be named as soon as possible, and certainly by the next academic year, President Vest said.
Manuel Jorge Cutillas, president of Bacardi Ltd., said, "Bacardi is committed to protecting, preserving and restoring coastal water quality around the world. By endowing the MIT faculty chair, Bacardi will advance the Stockholm Water Foundation's efforts to educate and empower people to improve water quality in their communities."
The Stockholm Water Foundation was founded in 1990. It enjoys the patronage of the King and annually awards the Stockholm Water Prize to an individual or organization engaged in water-related research or activism. The prize includes a gift of $150,000.
Bacardi Ltd. established the Bacardi Foundation in 1994 to encourage and support the preservation and conservation of environmentally sensitive and unique coastal and recreational waters and beaches through education and grass roots programs. Bacardi works with environmental groups including The Nature Conservancy.
Bacardi Ltd. produces and markets a variety of spirits, including Bacardi rum, Martini & Rossi vermouth and Asti sparkling wine.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 7, 1995.