Dr. Richard C. Dubes (1934-1993)


A “Pattern” of Giving in Memory of a Respected Professor


A highly esteemed and beloved member of the computer science and engineering faculty, Dr. Richard Dubes was internationally renowned for his research in pattern recognition and revered across the MSU campus for excellence in the classroom.  Twelve years after his death, former students, colleagues and friends continue to feel the impact he made on their lives.

As a way of perpetuating Dr. Dubes' commitment to his students and passion for his research, Dr. Anil Jain, university distinguished professor of computer science, recently initiated the creation of the Richard C. Dubes Endowed Scholarship/Fellowship Fund.  This endowed fund is intended to support deserving undergraduate and graduate students who are pursuing a degree in computer science and engineering, with preference given to students who are affiliated with the Pattern Recognition and Image Processing (PRIP) Laboratory and/or who have an interest in the areas of pattern recognition, image processing and computer vision.

This endowment went from concept to reality in a short period of time.  After pledging $5000 of his own in August 2005, Dr. Jain sent an email to several of Dr. Dubes’ and his own former students and colleagues, as well as friends of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, encouraging each to make a contribution in memory of Dr. Dubes.  Over a two week period, $200,000 was pledged by 87 donors, most of whom made their gifts online.  Once fully funded, this endowment will be the largest endowment for student support in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.     

Dr.  Dubes devoted his entire professional life – nearly four decades – to teaching, research and public service at Michigan State University.  He was also an alumnus of the College of Engineering, earning his masters degree in 1958, followed by his doctoral degree in electrical engineering in 1962.  Shortly thereafter, he was hired as an assistant professor of electrical engineering.  When the Department of Computer Science was established in the late 1960’s, Dr. Dubes was eager for the opportunity to advance the emerging field of computer science.  In 1977, Dr. Dubes along with Anil Jain founded the PRIP Laboratory, which is now one of the most active and internationally visible research labs in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at MSU.   He remained a member of the computer science and engineering faculty until his death in 1993. 

“I do not know of another person with higher standards of professional integrity, or with a stronger sense of fairness and care for others,” said Dr. Jain of his friend, mentor and colleague. “He provided a helping hand to anyone who approached him.  This endowment provides an excellent opportunity for people to give back in honor of someone who helped them.”   

The College of Engineering invites alumni and friends to support endowments such as this. For information on how to contribute to the Dubes endowment, to request a list of other endowments for which you may provide support, or to explore the possibility of creating an endowment of your own with a cash or planned gift, please contact the development office at (517) 355-8339, or egrdevel@egr.msu.edu.