CORVALLIS, Ore. - A couple who met when they were both engineering students at Oregon State University in the early 1980s are giving the OSU College of Engineering $2.5 million.
The university announced the gift at the grand opening celebration of OSU's new Kelley Engineering Center, where the 4-story atrium will be named in honor of the benefactors, Jen-Hsun and Lori Huang. Both graduated with electrical engineering degrees from OSU -- Jen-Hsun in 1984 and Lori in 1985.
"Jen-Hsun and Lori's generous gift is a wonderful and well-timed boost as we continue to build on the strong legacy of engineering here at Oregon State," said Ron Adams, OSU dean of Engineering. "I'm very proud of these two electrical engineering alumni, and I'm heartened by their strong vote of confidence in what we're doing here. They're outstanding examples of alumni who have gone on to do great things for the world and then give back to Oregon State."
Jen-Hsun Huang, who delivered the keynote address at the grand opening ceremony, is CEO, cofounder and president of NVIDIA, the world leader in programmable graphics processor technologies. He merged engineering with entrepreneurship to grow NVIDIA into a company that employs more than 2,500 people, has annual sales of more than $2 billion and supplies graphics processing units for products ranging from Motorola's new 3G Razr cell phones to NASA workstations that navigate the Mars Rover.
In addition to naming the atrium, the gift will also name the NVIDIA Graphics and Image Technologies Laboratory in the Kelley Engineering Center.
Huang said the College of Engineering's emphasis on basic principles, work ethic, collaboration and business acumen are all important assets in the drive to build a top engineering program at OSU.
"The professors have a balance of practicality and theory. They teach the theory, but are always trying to help you apply it," he said. "Oregon State is a wonderful school." Huang said the highlight of his time at OSU was meeting Lori, the day they were paired off as lab partners in an electrical fundamentals class. "That was the most important, single event of OSU, and of my life," he said.