Dr. Richard E. Marburger

President Emeritus

Dr. Richard E. Marburger


Richard E. Marburger, a former General Motors researcher, has served over 50 years in Lawrence Tech teaching and administrative roles, including serving as the University's fourth president from 1977 to 1993.

A gifted and popular teacher, in retirement he continues to serve Lawrence Tech students on a near daily basis as a volunteer academic advisor, tutor, and mentor. In acknowledgment of his vast contributions to LTU, the Marburger STEM Center in the A. Alfred Taubman Engineering, Architecture, and Life Sciences Complex was named in his honor.

Marburger was an early proponent of computers to aid the educational process, and during his presidency, the campus-wide distribution and adoption of computers for teaching, research, business, and communications occurred. Marburger insisted that all campus machines be able to “talk” with each other, seamless interaction rare at the time but an attribute he thought essential to assuring the cohesion of the Lawrence Tech learning community. Campus e-mail was inaugurated in 1982. The Wayne H. Buell Management Building, the Don Ridler Field House, and a major addition to the Engineering Building opened. Lawrence Tech’s first major capital campaign was launched and concluded over goal. He initiated the return of graduate programs to Lawrence Tech and led Lawrence Tech’s change of status from an institute of technology to university in 1989.

Marburger is chairman of the board of the AGBU Alex and Marie Manoogian School. He is a past president of the Engineering Society of Detroit, the Detroit Metropolitan Science Teachers Association, and Science and Engineering Fair of Metropolitan Detroit. He is also past chairman of the Southfield Planning Commission and the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Michigan.

Joining the adjunct faculty in 1965, he was named to the full-time faculty in 1969 and then led the College of Arts and Sciences before being named vice president for academic affairs (provost) of the University. He holds three degrees in physics from Wayne State University, including the Ph.D. Among numerous awards for scientific accomplishment and leadership, he was named a Distinguished Alumnus of Wayne, elected to the national honorary scientific society, Sigma Xi, and has received the Engineering Society of Detroit’s coveted Gold Award and Rackham Humanitarian Award. He received the Doctor of Engineering, honoris causa, from Lawrence Tech in 1993.

A state champion spelling bee winner in the 1940s and a proponent of strong communication skills for students, Marburger rescued and reinvigorated the Michigan Spelling Bee and administered it through the University for over a decade.

During 17 years with the General Motors Research Laboratories, he made many important contributions to technology including X-ray diffraction techniques.

Marburger and his late wife, Mary, have two adult children, both of whom are Lawrence Tech graduates, and four grandchildren.