Duke Trustees Name CIEMAS for Fitzpatricks

Duke’s Board of Trustees has named the Pratt School of Engineering’s new Center for Interdisciplinary Engineering, Medicine and Applied Sciences (CIEMAS) for Duke alumni Michael and Patty Fitzpatrick.

The Fitzpatrick Center naming, announced Dec. 3 by President Richard H. Brodhead, followed by two weeks the official dedication of the $97 million, 322,000 square-foot facility. At the end of the dedication program, Brodhead told a dinner audience that he planned to ask the trustees to consider the naming in recognition of the couple’s “vision and belief in Duke engineering, as well as their past, present and future generosity of spirit and resources.”

The Fitzpatrick Center, which opened for classes last August, consists of a west and an east complex, each with two buildings. The buildings in the west complex have already been named the Fitzpatrick Building in honor of the couple’s support for the Fitzpatrick Center for Photonics and Communications and will retain that name.

The center, which doubles the Pratt School’s teaching and research space, is designed to foster interdisciplinary approaches to technology in a number of engineering fields. It also provides new facilities for the medical school and the Institute of Genome Sciences and Policy among others.

“The vision that the Fitzpatricks and Duke share for educating students and sustaining innovation is critical for the future health, economic well-being and security of our nation,” said Kristina Johnson, Pratt School dean. “We deeply appreciate their support and are thrilled with the opportunity this affords Duke to make an impact in addressing the big problems of the world that require interdisciplinary solutions.”

Michael J. and Patricia Wyngaarden Fitzpatrick have provided substantial support to a variety of programs at their alma mater, and particularly to the Pratt School. In 2000, they made a gift of $25 million to establish a center for the study of photonics at Duke that provided the foundation for CIEMAS. They have made many other gifts to support engineering at Duke. In 2003, they established the Wyngaarden Fellowship in the Center for Genome Ethics, Law, and Policy (GELP), in honor of James B. Wyngaarden, M.D., Patricia Wyngaarden Fitzpatrick’s father and former director of the National Institutes of Health who previously served as Duke’s vice chancellor and chair of the Department of Medicine.

They also have supported undergraduate financial aid programs, Trinity College of Arts and Science and Duke’s athletics department.

Michael Fitzpatrick earned a bachelor of arts degree in business administration at Duke in 1970. He is currently a general partner in Seabury Venture Partners in Burlingame, Calif., as well as an officer of the Fitzpatrick Foundation. He has spent more than 30 years in technology, specializing in start-ups of new businesses and turn-arounds of troubled technology companies. He is the former CEO of E-TEK Dynamics, Pacific Telesis Group and Network Systems.

Patricia Fitzpatrick graduated from Duke in 1969 with a bachelor of arts degree and a major in French. She is from a family with deep Duke roots that includes her parents, brother and sister, and cousins. She is the president of the Fitzpatrick Foundation and recently completed a term on the Trinity College Board of Visitors. She also has served in a variety of volunteer positions in New York and California schools, as well as at Duke.

The Fitzpatricks live in Hillsborough, Calif.