Samueli Foundation donates $10 million for endowed engineering chairs

Jun 14, 2016

By UCLA Samueli Newsroom

The UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science has received a $10 million gift from the Samueli Foundation that will help establish as many as 20 new endowed faculty chairs.

The matching gift follows the recent announcement of the school’s plan to expand by 50 faculty members and 1,000 students over the next five to seven years.

The foundation was created in 1999 by Henry Samueli, the co-founder of global semiconductor firm Broadcom Corp., and his wife, Susan. Henry Samueli, who earned three degrees from UCLA Engineering, said the gift is designed to encourage other alumni and donors to help propel the school’s expansion.

“The Samueli Foundation gift reflects the best of UCLA: Dedicated alumni working with today’s campus leaders to ensure a bright future for the university,” said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. “The Samueli family’s profound commitment to UCLA and to engineering education will benefit our students, faculty and society for generations to come.”

The gift offers a dollar-for-dollar match for donations toward the establishment of endowed chairs. For example, it will make it possible for other donors to sponsor a permanent chair in the name of their choice and to support faculty research in an area of interest to them with a gift of $1 million, which would be matched by the foundation for the $2 million total needed to fund the chair. Similarly, a term chair, an endowed position given to the chair holder for a specific period of time, normally requires a $1 million gift, but can be made for $500,000, which the foundation would match.

“UCLA already is home to one of the top engineering schools in the world,” Henry Samueli said. “The next few years present an opportunity to take it to another level. We want to ensure that the most promising engineers working in the most dynamic fields continue to come to UCLA to teach and pursue research.”

Jayathi Murthy, who joined UCLA Engineering as dean in January, is spearheading the effort to expand the school’s faculty and student body. Adding endowed chairs would significantly accelerate efforts to recruit and retain top faculty.

“This is a visionary gift from donors who have already made extraordinary contributions to UCLA and the school of engineering,” Murthy said. “We now have an unparalleled opportunity during this period of growth and transformation to elevate the school and become a world leader in emerging areas.”

Henry Samueli earned his bachelor’s degree in 1975, his master’s degree in 1976 and his doctorate in 1980. He was a member of the engineering faculty in 1991 when he co-founded Broadcom with one of his students, Henry Nicholas. In 2016, Broadcom Corp. was acquired by Avago Technologies Ltd. for $37 billion and was renamed Broadcom Ltd. The company employs more than 15,000 people and has facilities around the world. Samueli remains the company’s chief technical officer and a member of the board.

The engineering school is named for Henry Samueli in recognition of a $30 million gift from the foundation in 1999. The engineering school at UC Irvine was also named for Samueli after a separate $20 million gift from the foundation the same year.

Henry Samueli is a member of the executive committee of the Centennial Campaign for UCLA. The campaign, which launched in 2014, seeks to raise $4.2 billion for the university to prepare for its second century of excellence. The campaign is scheduled to conclude in December 2019, during UCLA’s 100th anniversary year.

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