Robert Starbuck is the winner of the 2016 Zenith Medal for Service for his many contributions to the college, including his time, his leadership skills and his financial support.
Starbuck came to NC State for graduate school, receiving his master’s degree in 1972 and his Ph.D. in 1975, both in statistics. Shortly after graduation, he began a long and successful career in the pharmaceutical industry, retiring in 2008 as assistant vice president for special projects for Wyeth Research. He has also held an array of leadership positions with the American Statistical Association, and for those efforts and his outstanding professional accomplishments he was named a fellow of the association and won its prestigious Founders Award.
Starbuck’s service to the college has been exemplary. He served two terms on the Foundation Board for the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences and currently serves on the College of Sciences Foundation Board. He worked with another alumnus, Ji Zhang, to help establish the R.A. Fisher Distinguished Professorship in Statistics, an effort to which more than 50 alumni and friends contributed. And he has given of his own resources. He and his wife, Mimi, are longtime members of the college’s Dean’s Circle leadership giving society and recently established a Solomon Scholarship, the college’s signature scholarship program.