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Garmin co-founder makes $1M gift for School of Engineering

Thu, 01/30/2014

LAWRENCE — Dr. Min Kao, of Garmin International Inc., has made a $1 million gift through the Kao Family Foundation to support programs and scholarships at the University of Kansas School of Engineering. Half of the gift will create the Min H. Kao Engineering Design Studios, and half will establish the Garmin Excellence Scholarship in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. In addition, a mentorship program will be established between KU engineering students and engineers at Garmin.

Dr. Kao is co-founder and executive chairman of Garmin Ltd., with U.S. headquarters located in Olathe. He earned a doctoral degree in electrical engineering from the University of Tennessee.

This gift adds to Dr. Kao’s past support for the KU School of Engineering, which exceeds $500,000 to date in scholarships.

“I am delighted to support the University of Kansas in its mission to educate its students and to encourage engineering and technology innovation,” said Dr. Kao.  “Ensuring a highly-skilled engineering workforce is vital to the future of Garmin, the state of Kansas and our nation as a whole.”

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Jeffrey S. Vitter said, “This substantial gift helps KU educate future leaders and represents a deepening of our relationship with Dr. Kao and Garmin.”

Dean of Engineering Michael Branicky said, “Dr. Kao’s gift supports our students and our goal to provide more top quality engineers to Kansas industry. We are excited by the many opportunities a gift of this magnitude affords.”

Glenn Prescott, chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, said, “Dr. Kao’s generous support of the studios will strengthen our capstone experiences for students, enhancing learning and industry readiness. Capstone courses require seniors to use their full knowledge as they design a project prior to graduation, and are critical to a graduate’s early success in the workforce. Providing a state-of-the-art workspace, such as these design studios, will be a definite advantage.”

The gift counts toward Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, the university’s $1.2 billion comprehensive fundraising campaign. Far Above seeks support to educate future leaders, advance medicine, accelerate discovery and drive economic growth to seize the opportunities of the future.

The campaign is managed by KU Endowment, the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.



Matt Menzenski, a graduate student in Slavic languages & literatures, took this photo during President Obama’s speech at KU Thursday. Menzenski says he was struck by how relaxed the president was in his delivery. He missed a chance to hear former President Bill Clinton speak in his hometown in 2004, but finally got to see a sitting president this week at KU. “The opportunity to hear the president speak is just one of many great opportunities I've had at KU. So many interesting talks and events happen here all the time. I try to attend at least one a week-- it's never hard to find something interesting to go to.” Tags: University of Kansas College of Liberal Arts and Sciences KU School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures KU Dept of Slavic Languages - Friends & Alumni Barack Obama The White House #exploreKU #POTUSatKU

Hold on a sec, we feel like singing: The HILL is alive… with the sound of Jayhawks! http://t.co/6Dgn4BuH70
Explore KU: The Bells of Mount Oread KU’s Campanile, a 120-foot-tall timepiece that tolls automatically on the hour and quarter-hour, not only sounded in the 2015 New Year at midnight with 12 mighty gongs, but also regularly rings up memories for many Jayhawks – the 277 faculty and students who gave their lives during World War II, the graduates who walk through its doors at commencement, and aspiring students who have strolled through the Lawrence campus. (See http://bit.ly/1xjjwJj). For nearly 60 years, KU’s 53-bell carillon has been tolling the sounds of peace and serenity across Mount Oread since it was installed in June 1955 inside the landmark World War II Memorial Campanile, which was dedicated in 1951. (See http://bit.ly/1BoL9jv) The carillon is also a four-octave musical instrument, which is played with a giant keyboard and foot pedals. University Carillonneur Elizabeth Egber-Berghout (http://bit.ly/14fiBPl), associate professor of carillon and organ, climbs 77 steps up a spiral staircase in the bell tower to perform recitals several times a month.


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