Mueller Science Hall: Open to Experiments

Mueller Science Hall, recognizing entrepreneur and third-generation Russell Sage College alumna Nancy Sothern Mueller ’65, was dedicated during Reunion Weekend in June. Mueller’s endowment of a scholarship for Russell Sage students in a joint mathematics-engineering program with Rensselaer has encouraged a stream of young women to enter careers once thought to be only the province of men. And now, her recent gift of $2 million dollars to Project Jumpstart has allowed Russell Sage to update its scientific laboratory equipment, renovate the historic center of campus, and connect Sage’s scientific past to its future.

Dedication to Science at Sage is Evident

Mueller Science Hall, connected to the INVEST Incubator, is about “interactive entrepreneurship.” Meaning, if students live it, they will learn it. This science center will make Russell Sage a destination for young women in science. Prospective students, attracted to the campus by pipeline programs like GEMS (Girls Excited About Engineering, Math, and Science), will want to do science here.

INVEST Incubator: Up and Buzzing

Evident Technologies, Inc. moved its research and operations departments to the Incubator for Nanotechnology Ventures, Emerging Sciences and Technologies (INVEST) at Russell Sage College over the summer, and when students arrived on campus this fall, they found the first nanotechnology business incubator on a women’s college campus up and buzzing.

The INVEST project includes state of the art chemistry labs for RSC, made possible by a $500,000 leadership gift from entrepreneur Donna Esteves ’70, Sage Trustee Chair of the INVEST project.


“Not only is a business-science incubator like INVEST not available on any other women’s college campus, it is very rare on any campus and almost never available at the undergraduate level,” said Esteves, emphasizing that INVEST will provide opportunities to learn about nano-science research and entrepreneurial business development to faculty and students from a variety of disciplines. “All students, whether or not science is their ‘thing’ stand to benefit from INVEST. They will leave Sage light-years ahead of other college graduates who might receive such business start-up exposure as this only at the graduate level.”


On September 27, New York State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno will join Esteves and Sage President Jeanne Neff, Evident CEO Clinton Ballinger, and INVEST academic liaison Professor Tom Keane for a celebratory ribbon-cutting ceremony in the new space.


“When I first learned about the INVEST nanotechnology business incubator during a presentation by Professor Tom Keane, it made me want to be a student again,” said Esteves, a chief executive at SESCO, Inc. which provides energy conservation consulting to utility companies. “As a matter of fact, if I lived locally I would be a student again!”