$1.5M Standish Gift Endows Professorship

This fall, J. Spencer and Patricia Standish endowed the first named professorship for the School of Business.

The $1.5 million gift in conjunction with Governor Cuomo’s NYSUNY 2020 challenge grant will create three faculty positions in entrepreneurship, including two tenure-track professors specializing in social entrepreneurship and a tenure-track professor for life sciences entrepreneurship.

University at Albany President Robert J. Jones, Patricia Standish,
University at Albany President Robert J. Jones, Patricia Standish, J. Spencer Standish and School of Business Dean Donald Seigel.

Spencer Standish, chairman emeritus of Albany International Corporation, and Pat Standish, a retired college lecturer, have an extensive history of support for UAlbany and other educational institutions. The Standishes were early supporters of the new School of Business building, having named the living room in the second floor atrium, and have contributed to many other projects at the University at Albany, including the Patricia and J. Spencer Standish Board Room in the Science Library.
“We are excited about the impact that the professorship will have not only on the School of Business but also on other schools at the University and in the Capital Region,” said Spencer Standish.

Pat Standish added, “We are pleased that our gift adds to the School of Business’s momentum and capitalizes on the potential of the School’s spectacular new building.”
The endowment will propel the entrepreneurship track in the School of Business and is expected to attract renowned scholar-teachers in the emerging field.

School of Business Dean Donald Siegel noted that the Standish Professorship will reach well beyond the School of Business. He said, “Across the University there are many students, including non-business students, with entrepreneurial vision and spirit. We want all of these students to benefit from the Standish Professor’s expertise and inspiration, while it also enhances the school’s numerous entrepreneurship initiatives in the Capital Region and beyond.”

University at Albany President Robert J. Jones also anticipates that the gift will have a wide impact. He said, “We expect The Standish Professorship in Entrepreneurship to have a significant impact not only on the School of Business, but on the entire University and the Capital Region.”

Dean Siegel said the Standish Professor will not only teach but will counsel UAlbany’s chapter of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, which serves middle and high school students, as well as assist the award-winning Small Enterprise for Economic Development Program, a social entrepreneurship program collaboration with the School of Social Welfare that provides entrepreneurial training, character-based loans, and support to local entrepreneurs. The Standish Professor will also help prepare students for the New York State Student Business Plan Competition, which the School of Business organizes annually with the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and Syracuse University.

The couple’s first date was at a University at Albany Citizen Laureate Award Dinner in the 1980’s. J. Spencer Standish, former chairman of the board of Albany International, is Director Emeritus of the University at Albany Foundation. He served as the Foundation’s president for many years and has been honored with its Citizen Laureate Award as well as UAlbany’s Distinguished Service Medal and Medallion awards. Patricia Hunter Standish is a retired English teacher, and lecturer at Saint Rose and Siena Colleges. The couple is well known in the Capital Region for their support of higher education and medicine. Standish’s mother, Florence (Spencer) Standish attended the University at Albany when it was the State Teachers College.