On May 4, Washington University held a dedication ceremony to pay tribute to Scott and Pyong Rudolph while giving the Earth & Planetary Sciences building a new name.
The Scott Rudolph Hall dedication ceremony was held in Whitaker Hall Auditorium and featured special guest speaker and Emmy Award-winning science television show host Bill Nye of “Science Guy” fame. A reception and self-guided tours followed in Rudolph Hall.
In the few years the Rudolphs have been part of Washington University, their support has been significant. In addition to other gifts, the couple gave $10 million to the Chancellor’s Fund for Excellence, with $1.5 million slated for establishing the Scott Rudolph Professorship in Earth & Planetary Sciences.
“In the brief time since Scott and Pyong Rudolph entered our university community, they have become part of our family,” Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton says. “Rudolph Hall is a fitting tribute to Scott, a highly accomplished entrepreneur whose personal interest in geology and mineral collecting inspired him to learn more about the important work being done in Earth & Planetary Sciences.
“We are honored and deeply grateful for Scott and Pyong’s overwhelming generosity, infectious enthusiasm and energy. We are very fortunate to have friends with solid faith in our ability to build an extraordinary future for Washington University and for the generations of students to come,” Wrighton says.
Scott and Pyong Rudolph’s introduction to Washington University came by way of their son Michael, currently a junior in the Olin Business School. (Son Ian will join his brother at WUSTL this fall.)
Soon, they found themselves involved in the university’s Parents Council, where they established a $1 million challenge gift to match donations for scholarships from parents of current students and from alumni parents.
In addition to their efforts on behalf of the Parents Council, Scott Rudolph contributes his leadership and business acumen to the Board of Trustees, where he sits on the Global Engagement Committee; he also serves as a member of the Entrepreneur National Council. The Rudolphs are sustaining charter members of the Danforth Circle, Chancellor’s Level.
Scott Rudolph’s connection to the Earth & Planetary Sciences department relates to his avocation, geology and mineral collecting, coupled with his belief that education is the key to moving forward in life.
Foreseeing the rising popularity of vitamins, minerals and nutritional supplements, Scott Rudolph established US Nutrition Inc. in 1977 while still a teenager working out of his parents’ garage in a Long Island suburb.
In less than a decade, it was purchased by NBTY (formerly Nature’s Bounty), the world’s largest manufacturer and marketer of nutritional supplements, with Scott Rudolph at the helm as chief executive officer. His new venture, Piping Rock Health Products, represents the next phase of his career in the health and nutrition business.
As a leader in his home community, Scott Rudolph displays the same deep commitment to educational excellence at Dowling College in Long Island that he has for Washington University. At Dowling, where he received an honorary doctor of commercial science degree, he serves on its Board of Trustees, and recently served as president. He is also a trustee of North Shore University Hospital and a member of the Young Presidents Organization.
His many accolades include a proclamation from the New York State Senate for his commitment to youth activities and education. He also was named Master Entrepreneur of the Year in 1999; was awarded a distinguished honor by the Suffolk Community Center; was named an honorary member of the national honor society for business administration, Delta Mu Delta; and was presented with the Transatlantic Business Award by the British-American Chamber of Commerce.
In 2011, the Rudolphs received Washington University’s Brookings Award, a prestigious honor awarded by the Board of Trustees to recognize outstanding dedication to the institution.