Donation puts UCLA Centennial Campaign over $3 billion mark
The UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science has received a $20 million gift from the Samueli Foundation to support expanding the diversity of undergraduate students in engineering and computer science. The donation, which builds on Henry and Susan Samueli’s previous gifts, will fund a new program combining scholarships and internships for as many as 50 freshman students annually.
The Samueli Foundation Engineering Undergraduate Scholarship Fund will provide financial support and a research or industry internship early in the student’s undergraduate program to connect academic studies to real-world experiences.
“This latest gift from Henry and Susan Samueli demonstrates not only their deep commitment to higher education but their belief that everyone deserves a chance at a quality education,” said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. “Thanks to the Samuelis’ vision, students from all backgrounds will now have an opportunity to explore their dreams and become the innovators of the future.”
Including internships as part of the Samueli Scholarship Fund recognizes the educational benefits of early exposure to problem-solving in a commercial environment or research lab.
“This new program will allow our students to apply their growing skills in real-life situations and determine early on what career paths are most appealing,” said Jayathi Murthy, the Ronald and Valerie Sugar Dean of UCLA Engineering. “Additionally, it helps us ensure that a UCLA Engineering education is accessible to all students regardless of their gender or their social, ethnic or financial backgrounds.”
Over the next few years, UCLA Engineering plans to increase its enrollment by 1,000 students for a total of more than 6,500. The school will also add 50 faculty members. The planned growth is spurred by increased demand for undergraduate engineering education by students.
“Susan and I hope this gift will spark the thrill of problem-solving in UCLA Engineering freshmen and ease financial burdens that would otherwise deter them from reaching their full potential,” Samueli said. “In particular, the technology sector lags in the number of engineers who are women and underrepresented minorities, and it is our sincere hope that this scholarship program will help support the professional growth of those students at UCLA.”
Samueli serves as Orange County chair for the UCLA Centennial Campaign, which seeks to raise $4.2 billion by 2019, with $1 billion earmarked for scholarships. The new gift pushed the campaign past the $3 billion mark, and it moved UCLA Engineering closer to its own campaign goal of $250 million.
“All of us who care so deeply about UCLA are grateful for the Samuelis’ continued commitment to support the university and the communities it serves, from Orange County to Los Angeles County and beyond,” said Tony Pritzker, the campaign co-chair.
UCLA’s engineering school was named for Henry Samueli in 1999 in recognition of a $30 million gift from the Samueli Foundation. The engineering school at UC Irvine was named for Samueli after a separate $20 million gift from the foundation the same year.
Samueli and his wife, Susan, created the foundation in 1999. In 2016, it contributed $10 million to UCLA to match other donors’ gifts in order to create new endowed faculty chairs in engineering and support the school’s planned growth.
Henry Samueli earned three degrees from UCLA: a bachelor’s in 1975, a master’s in 1976 and a doctorate in 1980. He was a member of the engineering faculty in 1991 when he co-founded Broadcom Corp. with one of his students, Henry Nicholas.
In 2016, Broadcom was acquired by Avago Technologies Ltd. for $37 billion and renamed Broadcom Ltd. The company employs more than 15,000 people and has facilities around the world. Samueli is Avago’s chief technical officer and a member of the board.
Samueli is a recipient of the Marconi Society Prize and the Global Semiconductor Alliance’s Dr. Morris Chang Exemplary Leadership Award. He is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
Photo: Susan and Henry Samueli. Courtesy The Samueli Foundation.