ECE Receives $2 Million Commitment from Harris Corporation
Gift to Support Capital Improvement Projects
Posted September 17, 2009 | Atlanta, GA
The Georgia Institute of Technology's School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) has received a $2 million commitment from the Harris Corporation, an international communications and information technology company headquartered in Melbourne, Florida.
The gift, made through the Harris Foundation, will help support a capital campaign for construction of a new ECE headquarters facility and the renovation of the school's 47-year-old Van Leer Building, where some 7,000 students receive instruction each year. Harris will donate $500,000 each year for four years beginning in 2010 — the anticipated completion date of the Georgia Tech Foundation's private fund drive for the new facilities. Specifically, the Harris gift is intended for construction of an auditorium or other similar space. Dr. G.P. "Bud" Peterson, president of Georgia Tech and Howard L. Lance, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Harris, today signed an agreement for the donation during a special ceremony at the Harris Customer Briefing Center in Melbourne, Florida. The event also included a reception attended by Harris employees who are Georgia Tech graduates and by other representatives from the university.
"Our faculty and students are currently scattered across 10 buildings around the campus, the Van Leer classrooms are outdated, and the building lacks adequate laboratory facilities," said Dr. Gary S. May, professor and Steve W. Chaddick School Chair of ECE, who also attended the check presentation. "Clearly, this generous lead gift from Harris Corporation provides significant momentum for the school's long-term capital needs and helps to create a new presence that will serve us well in the 21st Century." Harris has a decades-long partnership with Georgia Tech and its School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, which is the largest producer of electrical and computer engineers by degree in the nation. The company employs nearly 200 of the school's graduates. In addition to the $2 million gift announced today, Harris has donated some $280,000 to the university since 2006. This includes a five-year, $250,000 pledge for a research lab in the Nanotechnology Research Center, and another $30,000 to support various programs within the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.