Peter Vardy ’55 leaves lasting legacy in the Mackay School

Peter VardyThanks to the generosity of the late Peter Vardy '55 (geological engineering), the Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering has established the Peter Vardy Faculty Endowment for Engineering Geology. Founded in 1908, the Mackay School offers ten areas of emphasis to its nearly 500 undergraduate and graduate students. This endowment will bring to the department a faculty member to teach students in the most popular Mackay major: geological engineering.

Born in Romania, Peter Vardy was raised in Europe and Israel before coming to the United States - where he met his wife Lilian, also from the same town in Romania - to pursue his college education on scholarship at the Mackay School. After beginning his career with Dames & Moore, Peter moved to Cooper, Clark & Associates, where he designed the nation's first fully engineered sanitary landfill, the Mountain View Regional Park. Within two years of Peter's co-founding it, EMCON Associates designed another 120 sanitary landfills, many of them before the Federal EPA developed national guidelines for such facilities. EMCON was ultimately purchased by Waste Management, Inc., where Peter served as VP of Environmental Management from 1973 to 1990. Later in Peter's career, he was a founding investor in Stericycle, a national provider of medical waste management systems responsible for managing and regulating nearly two billion pounds of waste, including the safe disposal of more than 30 million pounds of pharmaceutical waste. Based on his career accomplishments, Peter was named the 2003 Mackay Alumnus of the Year.

"The Mackay School enjoys a long history of excellence, and Peter is an exceptional example," Director of the Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering Russell Fields said. "Mr. Vardy's illustrious and pioneering career has had an impact on the lives of every person in the nation, blazing a trail in the fields of solid, hazardous and medical wastes management. His choice to offer support to the University during his lifetime and to remember the University in his estate plans is an honor. By designating his gift for a named professorship in geological engineering, Mr. Vardy both pays tribute to his alma mater and ensures that it continues to educate and train future leaders in the field in which he excelled. Mr. Vardy's career and generosity are inspirational."

Peter and Lilian began the process of establishing and funding the Peter Vardy Faculty Endowment for Engineering Geology during his lifetime. By designating the University as a beneficiary in his estate plans, Peter's dream of creating this named faculty position became a reality.

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To learn more about supporting the College of Science, please contact Donna Knotek, director of development, at (775) 682-5952; or Leigh Fitzpatrick, director of development, at (775) 682-8791.