Retirement parties are scheduled this week for two Princeton University employees who are familiar faces in both the academic and business communities.

Robert K. Durkee

The first is Robert Durkee, who began working at Princeton in 1972, three years after graduating from the university, as an assistant to the president. He was appointed to the role of vice president for public affairs in 1978 and held that role for the next 40 years. Since 2004 he has also served as vice president and secretary.

Durkee’s retirement will be celebrated Friday, May 10, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on the lawn behind Frist Campus Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Joseph Montemarano

Next comes Joseph X. Montemarano, director for innovation and external alliances at the Prince­ton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials, who will retire this July after 25 years of service. Montemarano promoted collaboration between Princeton University researchers and private industry. He engineered “technology transfer” agreements in which the university took equity in private companies in exchange for licenses to use technology. (Universal Display Corporation, which today is a giant in the field of Organic LED technology using technology developed in Princeton’s labs in the 1990s, is a famous example of this kind of arrangement.)

He also organized events such as the annual poster session held with the university and the New Jersey Entrepreneurial Network in which faculty and student researchers would present to investors.

A retirement party for Montemarano is scheduled for Monday, May 13, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Bowen Hall at 70 Prospect Avenue in Princeton. To attend, e-mail Sheila Gunning at

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