June 3, 2004

Irvine World News

UCI School of Information and Computer Science named in honor of Donald Bren

By Irvine World News Staff

UC Irvine's School of Information and Computer Science (ICS) will celebrate a new name, the promise of a new home, the generosity of its major benefactor and the appointment of its first dean Wednesday at a campus ceremony for supporters and invited civic, business and political leaders. The event is not open to the public.

The first school of its kind in the University of California system will be renamed the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, honoring the chairman of the Irvine Co.

Bren made a $20 million gift to ICS in December that equaled the largest gift ever to UCI.

At the luncheon ceremony, ground will be broken for the school's six-story, 138,000-square-foot research and classroom building. The building is being financed largely by the passage in March of Proposition 55 and its companion initiative in November 2002, Proposition 47, which authorized funds to build, repair and improve the state's public education facilities. Construction is scheduled for completion in 2006 and the building will be named Bren Hall.

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 - and enables ICS to compete for the world's top computer scientists.

The balance of the gift creates an endowed fund for excellence, enabling ICS to develop and advance interdisciplinary and university-industry collaborations emphasizing new research and enhanced technology transfer efforts.

"I am honored to have my name and support associated with the first computer science school in the UC system," said Bren. "It is my hope and expectation that this 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."

Bren's gift was made anonymously in December to enable ICS to begin recruiting while it organized as a new school. The school expects to name the first of the distinguished endowed chair holders, each of whom will carry the title of Donald Bren Professor, in the near future.

Bren has donated approximately $40 million to UCI since 1984, and has endowed more permanent faculty chairs than anyone in the campus' history.

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.
UCI School of Information and Computer Science named in honor of Donald Bren