Campaign Honors Outstanding Profs
The School of Engineering has kicked off a new campaign aimed at celebrating outstanding engineering professors. Called the Professors Remembered scholarship initiative, the campaign allows alumni to make donations in the name of a favorite emeritus or active professor whose mentorship, powerful lessons or influence made a lasting difference in a career. Visit our donation page now to see a list of Professors Remembered funds or to make a gift.
The fund will be used to support scholarships for deserving undergraduate engineering students at UConn, thereby creating an unbroken link between past and future. We are delighted to launch the Enduring Legacies Initiative with this short biography of the late, beloved Fred Maryanski.
Fred Maryanski was one of UConn’s most treasured assets for over 20 years, until he left Storrs to assume the presidency of Nevada State College at Henderson in 2005. Fred was an alumnus of the School of Engineering, having earned his Ph.D. in computer science in 1974. After earning his doctorate, he began his academic career at Kansas State University, where he stayed until rejoining the Storrs community in 1983. Fred wore many hats at UConn and carried out his responsibilities with grace, skill and conviction.
Reflecting on his love of the academic life, his wife Karen Maryanski said, “Fred was an amazing force in higher education. He proved one can be successful by being quiet, hardworking, and always compassionate in all he did. He loved UConn, not only because of the opportunities it afforded him, but the associations he formed. He never forgot why he was there: it was always about the students.”
At the time of his departure for Nevada, former (and current interim) UConn president Philip E. Austin said, “Over the past two eventful decades, Fred Maryanski has made a tremendous contribution to the University’s progress…It is no understatement to say that Dr. Maryanski is one of the handful of people who has brought UConn from a position of regional strength to national stature.”
He became the first head of the Department of Computer Science & Engineering (1986-89). A highly respected, pioneering computer expert, Fred was also the founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Very Large Databases. Fred joined the Provost’s office in 1989, taking on responsibility for academic affairs, the regional campuses, and the University’s fledgling educational technology program. He served two terms as Interim Provost as well as Interim Chancellor and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. The School of Engineering honored him in 2005 with induction into the Academy of Distinguished Engineers, a distinction reserved for those whose contributions to the engineering profession are exceptional.
Dr. Reda Ammar, Head of the Computer Science & Engineering Department, recalled Fred as a thoughtful and generous mentor. He described how – arriving to begin his duties as a new faculty member, fresh from Egypt with his wife and the wrong visa – he was required to return to Cairo to straighten out his documents. Fred, who chaired the computer science unit, contacted the offices of Senators Chris Dodd and Lowell Weicker and pleaded with them to petition the U.S. Embassy on Reda’s behalf. As was typical of Fred’s “can do” nature, during Reda’s week-long visa limbo in Cairo, Fred taught Reda’s classes as well as his own.
“Fred was, in equal parts, the visionary and facilitator who helped shape UConn’s path forward, and a generous and thoughtful person who treated students as individuals and worked to make a difference in their lives,” recalled Douglas Cooper, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education & Regional Campuses.
Fred died July 2, 2010. He is mourned by the entire UConn community and especially his former students and colleagues associated with the School of Engineering. Fred is survived by his wife, Karen, adult children David, Peter and Krista, three grandchildren and mother, Genevieve Maryanski.
Donate to the Fred J. Maryanski Memorial Fund for Computer Science here.