College of Engineering recieves $5 million gift

Robert Bishop, Opus dean of engineering, announced Monday that the College of Engineering received a $5 million endowment to establish a chair in electrical engineering.

Clay and Beverly Lafferty, both 1950 Marquette graduates, donated the money for the endowment.

“Clay and Beverly Lafferty are benefactors who understand the full scope of the college’s mission — research, a strong faculty, student support and a facility that encourages innovation and learning,” Bishop said in a press release. “Their gifts touch every facet of the college.”

The Laffertys have six children, three of whom are also Marquette graduates, according to the press release.

Bishop said the endowment will go towards support in teaching and funding research for a faculty member once the search is completed for the newly-created Lafferty chair in the department of electrical and computer engineering.

The endowment could allow for the study of smart sensors in environmental challenges.

“Renewable resources, water contamination, health … these are areas that we as a human family face major challenges (in),” Bishop said.

He said the college will search for a chair with experience in smart sensor systems.

“Sensors are critical for detecting toxic agents in water, monitoring the safety of infrastructures, measuring the efficacy of implantable monitoring devices, and tracking pollution, among so many other things,” Bishop said.