Senator Frank Raleigh Lautenberg (1924-2013)
On behalf of the NJIT community, President Joel S. Bloom expressed deep sadness upon learning of the passing of Senator Frank Lautenberg, noting that the Senator was a visionary leader who was a passionate advocate for the many causes he championed while he represented New Jersey in the United States Senate.
President Bloom stated that Senator Lautenberg was always a strong advocate for children, the environment, transportation, the economy and a strong national defense. Throughout both of his tenures as New Jersey Senator, he helped NJIT to grow programs focused on those causes. His support for the environment helped NJIT to establish a strong research program focused on hazardous waste remediation and pollution prevention. His support for improved transportation infrastructure was instrumental in growing the university's role in dealing with issues ranging from the expansion of Port Newark to reducing traffic congestion.
Upon his return to office in 2002, Senator Lautenberg’s strong advocacy for child-safe handgun legislation fueled NJIT's efforts to produce a biometrically controlled handgun. His unwavering support for this program over the next decade has resulted in a working prototype that advances the state of the technology for gun safety. In his role on the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, he ensured Senate support for funding for a number of defense-related research and development projects that sustained NJIT's partnerships with New Jersey military bases and supported US defense and domestic-security priorities.
In 2000, Senator Lautenberg was awarded the degree of doctor of humane letters in recognition of his outstanding record of public service and contributions to the State of New Jersey.
Senator Lautenberg’s passing marks the end of an era, and NJIT conveys its deep sympathy to the members of his family, to his countless friends, and to the State of New Jersey.