Gus Mininberg ’82 laughingly says that he applied to Clarkson initially because, “it was the only school at that time that had a one-page application and didn’t require an essay.” Gus may joke about the application process now, but when he arrived on campus his first year, he knew he made the best choice.
Gus immediately found the curriculum challenging. Although the academics were rigorous, Gus received critical support from Clarkson faculty, to whom he credits his success. Gus says that Clarkson’s faculty and staff “are involved in what’s going on with the students. There’s a personal interest in students there.” He believes the kind of support he received from faculty and staff is what sets Clarkson apart from other universities today.
By the time Gus reached his senior year, he had not one — but four — job offers. He accepted an offer from General Electric and moved to the Albany area. There he met Magda, a student at Union Graduate College (now Clarkson University Capital Region Campus). They were married in 1985 and have two sons, Benjamin, 28, and Mark, 22.
After two years with General Electric, Gus decided to launch his own business. He created High Voltage Electric Service Inc., a high voltage electrical testing and maintenance firm in Albany, New York. His entire family works in the business; they earned a U.S. patent in 2016 for designing and creating their CS Lockout Device — a lockout/tagout system designed to guard critical equipment against accidental operation in settings ranging from electrical generation plants and mining facilities to factories and nuclear research facilities. Gus credits his sons with manufacturing the prototype on a 3-D printer. They developed and maintain the company’s website as well.
Inspired to give back by excellence
Gus believes that his Clarkson education helped him succeed in his career. He believes in a Clarkson education so much that he is proud that his sons are following in his footsteps. Benjamin earned his MBA from Clarkson in 2012 and Mark will pursue his MBA in healthcare this year.
Gus’ success, and Clarkson’s continued standard of excellence, are what inspire him to give back to the University. In 2012, Gus and Magda established an endowed scholarship at Clarkson. Five years later, they funded a second scholarship with appreciated stock. Gus says that he and his family decided to make their second gift with stock, as it saved the family capital gains taxes while benefiting the University; the Annie Clarkson Society was very helpful in structuring and completing the gift.
Gus and his family plan to continue their philanthropy at Clarkson, which includes establishing additional scholarships. Gus says, “Clarkson did an excellent job for me, which enabled me to succeed, and because of that, I can share those benefits with Clarkson.”