Campaign Chair Dave House Gives Michigan Tech $10 Million, Largest Gift in University History

By Jennifer Donovan | Published

Michigan Technological University alumnus Dave House has made a $10 million pledge to the University's national campaign, Michigan Tech Fund Chairman George Butvilas told the University's Board of Trustees at its regular meeting on campus today.

With most of the contribution to come during House's lifetime, including two endowed professorships established recently, it is the largest outright gift that Michigan Tech has ever received.

House is the volunteer chair of the University's national fund-raising campaign, which is in its earliest stages. His giving will support Michigan Tech's strategic objective of becoming a world-class public research university by helping to recruit and retain top graduate and research faculty, as wells as deans and department chairs.

"Increasing complexity in every field has driven the need for more advanced degrees, and Michigan Tech must meet that need," said House. "A well executed strategic plan will attract and retain the best faculty needed to propel Michigan Tech nationally into the top quadrant and better prepare tomorrow's students for tomorrow's world."

Michigan Tech President Glenn D. Mroz expressed his gratitude to House for ongoing support of his alma mater. "He recognizes Michigan Tech's accomplishments, believes in our direction, and is confident that we can be a great university," said Mroz. "He's investing in the people of Michigan Tech to make that happen."

House, who earned a BS in Electrical Engineering at Michigan Tech, is the retired president of Nortel Networks, former CEO of Bay Networks and a long time Intel executive. He currently is chairman of Brocade Communication Systems of San Jose, Cal.

The House Family Foundation already has endowed two professorships at Michigan Tech. One is in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the criteria for the second professorship are currently being finalized by House with Michigan Tech officials. Tim Schulz, dean of the College of Engineering, holds one of these professorships.

A gift from the House Family Foundation enabled Michigan Tech to purchase the Michigan Tech Research Institute in 2006. The Ann Arbor facility is named The Dave House Center at Michigan Tech. House and the House Family Foundation have also provided major support toward the construction of the Rosza Center for the Performing Arts and underwritten a series of improvements in electrical and computer engineering labs and classrooms.

The new endowment adds momentum to the campaign, with gifts and pledges to date totaling approximately $85 million. The national campaign committee that House chairs comprises a select group of alumni and friends who are helping guide and advise the campaign, which is still in its silent phase.

"Michigan Tech has provided the education that enabled many successful careers. Now is the time for us to give back so that it can provide the same opportunities to tomorrow's students," said House. "I hope everyone will join me in digging a little deeper in this campaign so we can achieve our strategic plan and make everyone proud of Michigan Tech for decades to come."

In other business, the Board of Trustees:
- Learned that the State of Michigan in its capital outlay bill authorized $25 million for Michigan Tech to build a Great Lakes research center on the waterfront of its Houghton campus.
- Heard a report from Les Cook, vice president for student affairs, that fall enrollment topped 7,000, with a first-year class of 1,365, the largest since 1983.
- Heard a report from David Reed, vice president for research, that the University had received more than $41.3 million in sponsored research awards during fiscal year 2008, including more than $30 million in federal grants and $4.1 million from industry.

Michigan Technological University is a leading public research university, conducting research, developing new technologies and preparing students to create the future for a prosperous and sustainable world. Michigan Tech offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering, forestry and environmental sciences, computing, technology, business and economics, natural and physical sciences, arts, humanities and social sciences.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 60 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.