Kahlert Foundation donates $15 million to School of Computing – @theU
The University of Utah today announced a $15 million gift from the Kahlert Foundation to support the university’s renowned school of computer science.
The Kahlert Foundation gift will establish an endowment to provide the School of Computer Science with flexible, long-term funding that will expand student support, attract top faculty, and accelerate industry collaborations. In recognition of this donation, the university will rename the school in conjunction with the Kahlert Foundation.
“The University of Utah’s computer science program is a legendary force in both school and state, and we wanted to do our part to help that legacy continue,” said Heather Kahlert, vice-president of the Kahlert Foundation and former student of the U. “Our foundation is passionate about the value of STEM in improving lives and building the future, and helps ensure that Utah’s continued generations of diverse, high-level computer scientists are a perfect match for our mission. “
Established in 1991 by Bill Kahlert, philanthropist and co-founder of Evapco Inc., the foundation provides grants to nonprofit organizations in the fields of health care, education, youth programs, veterans organizations and social services. Originally created to support communities in the Maryland area, the foundation expanded its mission in 2015 to include Utah thanks to the influence and passion for philanthropy of Heather Kahlert, the founder’s granddaughter .
The Kahlert Foundation has become the leader of a new generation of philanthropy and a major voice for improving the lives and outcomes of University students. Including this most recent donation, the foundation has provided more than $30 million in support for the university. Other recent projects funded and led by the Kahlert Foundation at the university include the Kahlert Technology Initiative, a digital literacy certificate for all students, regardless of degree; Kahlert Village, a residential community for freshmen; scholarship support for student athletes and majors at the David Eccles School of Business; and generous support from both the Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine Building and the Primary Children’s and Families’ Cancer Research Center at the Huntsman Cancer Institute.
“The University of Utah is a pioneering computer science program, and its profound value is clear in the fact that computer science has become the largest major on campus,” said Taylor Randall, Ph.D., president of read. “This generous gift from the Kahlert Foundation will ensure that the foundation and school of computer science will continue to lead innovation and build the workforce that will continue to drive technology in Utah and around the world.
“The Kahlert Foundation’s gift is timely because it will amplify our efforts to make our IT program welcoming and inclusive, supporting student success programs and faculty development,” said Mary Hall, professor and director of the School of Computing.
Since its founding in 1965, the School of Computing has been a center of excellence and innovation, helping to lead a revolution in the use of computers for graphics, data visualization, and human interface. The school housed one of the first four nodes of the ARPANET, the precursor to the Internet. Today, the school is one of the fastest growing on campus, with the number of students pursuing degrees or courses increasing 47% in five years. Nearly half of the computer science degrees awarded each year by universities in the Utah higher education system come from U.
“At a time of rapid technological change and when others are competing for talent, Utah can continue to make major contributions to computing and many other fields,” said Edwin Catmull, president of the retirement, Walt Disney & Pixar Animation Studios, “By securing the future of the school of computer science financially, the Kahlert Foundation is helping to ensure that we will continue to make the U a foundational school for the advancement of technology , its applications and its impact on local businesses.
The School of Computing continues to build on its stellar reputation by conducting cutting-edge research in a wide range of areas of computing, including AI and machine learning, computer architecture, robotics, high-performance computing, human-centered computing, data science, cybersecurity and wireless communications.
Well-known alumni include Alan Kay, Turing Award winner for devising the first graphical user interface at Xerox PARC; Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar; John Warnock, co-founder of Adobe Systems; Alan Ashton, founder of WordPerfect, Jim Clark, founder of Netscape and WebMD; and Telle Whitney, former CEO of the Anita Borg Institute and co-founder of Grace Hopper’s Celebration of Women in Computing.
The appointment is pending review and approval by the university’s board of trustees at its November 8, 2022 meeting.
About the Kahlert Foundation
The mission of the Kahlert Foundation is to provide grants to nonprofit organizations to improve the quality of life and well-being of the community in the areas of health care, education, youth programs , veterans organizations and social services. The Kahlert Foundation focuses on five main areas: health care, education, youth programs, veterans organizations and social services, primarily providing funds in the states of Maryland and Utah. . The funding aims to improve the ability of organizations to have a positive impact on local communities and their citizens.