UC Irvine Renames Computer Sciences School in Honor of Donald Bren
In recognition of a major gift from TIC Chairman Donald Bren, UC Irvine announced today that it is renaming its new computer science school the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences. The school’s renaming – to be celebrated at a public event at the campus next Wednesday, June 9 – recognizes a $20 million gift from Mr. Bren to the computer sciences school last December. Mr. Bren’s gift equaled the largest gift ever to UCI and marked another example of the chairman’s support of public education on The Irvine Ranch.
“This school naming is a fitting and enduring tribute to Mr. Bren,” UCI Chancellor Ralph Cicerone said. “His transformational gift is helping to create a national model for information and computer science research and education, and further strengthens UC Irvine’s position among the nation’s best research universities.” Chancellor Cicerone will participate in next week’s ceremony along with Mr. Bren, UC Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs M.R.C. Greenwood, and Debra Richardson, dean of the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences.
“I am honored to have my name and support associated with the first computer science school in the UC system,” Mr. Bren said. “It is my hope and expectation that the school – and what it produces in the way of human capital and technological innovation – will be the force behind future breakthroughs in education, science and business that will lift our standard of living and our quality of life.”
The Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences is the first independent computer science school within the UC system and one of the fastest-growing programs of its kind in the nation. Elevated from department to school status in December 2002, information and computer sciences enrollment at UCI has grown by more than 125 percent since 1998, to more than 2,400 undergraduate and graduate students. With experts in areas ranging from embedded computer systems and networking to bioinformatics and the social impacts of computing, the school currently ranks among the top of all public university computer science graduate programs. To learn more about the school, click http://www.ics.uci.edu/.
At the luncheon ceremony, ground will be broken for the school’s new six-story, 138,000-square-foot research and classroom facility. The building is being financed by the March 2004 passage of Proposition 55 and the passage in 2002 of its companion initiative, Proposition 47, which authorized funds to build, repair and improve the state’s public education facilities. The building is scheduled for completion in 2006 and will be named Bren Hall.
Mr. Bren’s $20 million gift, administered through the Donald Bren Foundation, provides more than $18 million to create 10 endowed chairs for distinguished faculty, an unprecedented number in a single gift to UCI. It also enables the school to compete for the world’s top computer scientists. The balance of the gift creates an endowed fund for excellence, enabling the school to develop and advance interdisciplinary and university-industry collaborations emphasizing new research and enhanced technology transfer efforts.
Mr. Bren has donated more than $40 million to UCI since 1984, and has endowed more permanent faculty chairs than anyone in the campus’s history. In 1988, he established the Donald Bren Endowment to help UCI successfully compete for the nation’s most distinguished faculty and achieve its goal of becoming one of the country’s premier research universities.
See further New Beginnings information on UCI’s website.