When Henry Samueli ’75, MS ’76, PhD ’80 and his wife, Susan, recently pledged $20 million through their foundation to UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, they achieved a hat trick. In one generous swoop, they further established themselves as leading UCLA citizens, prepared UCLA to recruit diverse engineering pioneers of the future, and put The Centennial Campaign for UCLA over the $3.0 billion landmark toward the $4.2 billion goal.
The endowed gift will support expanding the diversity of undergraduate engineering and computer science students by creating a hybrid scholarship/internship program for as many as 50 freshmen annually. UCLA Engineering, like other top engineering schools across the country, struggles to enroll women and minorities. Diversity is important for many reasons, among them establishing a critical connection between the academy and the real world it stands to influence.
Of course, as women and underrepresented minorities benefit, so will society: Scholars from different backgrounds bring a valuable variety of perspectives and problem-solving skills that lead to innovation and solutions.
The engineering school at UCLA was named for Broadcom co-founder Henry Samueli to recognize a $30 million gift from the Samueli Foundation in 1999, the same year Samueli and his wife, Susan, established their foundation. In addition to these gifts, in 2016 the foundation gave UCLA Engineering a $10 million matching gift to spur the creation of new endowed faculty chairs to support growth in faculty. The new gift creates a surge for the school’s Centennial Campaign goal of raising $40 million for student support.
Samueli is Orange County Centennial Campaign chair, and his recent gift also propelled that region to surpass its campaign giving goal. A March event in Orange County is occasion for celebration. Samueli, along with his family, is also an inspiring example of Bruins committed to making the next generation of Bruins even better.