June 23, 2008

President Snyder remembers Eric Nord, inventor and noted philanthropist

To the Case Western Reserve University Community:

Barbara Snyder

I write you today regarding Eric T. Nord, an alumnus of the Case Institute of Technology and one of our university's greatest benefactors. Mr. Nord, who died last week at the age of 90, embodied all that we dream of for our graduates. He was an innovator who changed his field, a philanthropist whose work touched thousands and a husband and father to a wonderful family. I have the pleasure of knowing one of his children, Virginia Nord Barbato, a current member of our university's Board of Trustees.

Mr. Nord co-founded Nordson Corporation in 1954 with his brother and father, growing it from a modest local firm to a publicly traded international company that today has sales of more than $1 billion. He helped develop many of the products that cemented Nordson as an industry leader, personally accumulating more than 25 U.S. patents.

Following the example of his father, Mr. Nord believed passionately in the importance of contributing to his community. He helped launch four separate charitable organizations: the Nord Family Foundation, the Eric & Jane Nord Foundation, the Community Foundation of Greater Lorain County and the Nordson Corporation Foundation. Several Nord gifts directly influenced our campus, among them:

  • The conversion of Enterprise Hall to Nord Hall, the hub of the Case School of Engineering
  • The Eric T. Nord Endowed Fund for Faculty Development
  • The Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities
  • The Nord Professorship in Computer Engineering
  • The Jane Baker Nord Scholarship Fund for the Art Education Graduate Program
  • The Walter Nord Program at the University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education

The Nords also have contributed significantly to Oberlin College, the Amherst Schools, the Cleveland Museum of Art and several causes within Lorain County. All told, charitable giving led by Mr. Nord totaled more than $100 million.

Mr. Nord received an honorary doctor of science degree from the Case Institute of Technology and the Case Alumni Association Gold Medal Award in recognition of his achievements. His family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, gifts in Mr. Nord's memory be made to The Baker Nord Center for the Humanities, in care of Case Western Reserve University, Room 124, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106. Please join me in expressing both our sympathy and gratitude to his family.


Barbara R. Snyder