Historic $12.7 Million Gift Headed To MSU College Of Engineering

EAST LANSING — The Michigan State University College of Engineering has received the largest individual gift in its history.

A $10.7 million bequest from a California entrepreneur joins a previous cash gift of $2 million, bringing his total giving to $12.7 million to support the college and the BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action, one of the National Science Foundation’s Science and Technology Centers.

The commitment is from computer scientist John R. Koza, who is considered the “father of genetic programming.”
The $10.7 million bequest will fund two endowed faculty positions to attract eminent scholars for the development of computational tools inspired by nature. New endowments also will advance genetic programming and evolutionary computation through endowed prizes, fellowships and programs to attract top graduate students and an increasingly strong pool of faculty members, said engineering Dean Leo Kempel.

“The creation of two new faculty endowments joining a third endowed chair, as well as endowed prizes and graduate student support, is unprecedented in the College of Engineering,” Kempel said. “We are very grateful to Dr. Koza for the advances our faculty will achieve and the students we will serve as a result of this extraordinary gift. With this gift,and the previous investment by the National Science Foundation in the BEACON Center, Michigan State University will be the leading institution for transformational research and education in this important field of scholarship.”

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