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

Thu, 01/30/2014

Contact

KU Endowment
785-832-7398

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.



KU in the news
The Wall Street JournalMon, 04/14/2014
The New York TimesMon, 04/14/2014
Squeezed in the backseat on a family vacation or sitting in the driver’s seat of your KU degree on an #EducationVacation? You decide. http://bit.ly/KUsummer

Are grain elevators leading a double life? Find out here: http://t.co/bBIhNtLT68
The Big Event at KU 2014 The 2014 Big Event connected the KU campus with the Lawrence community by recruiting 3,000 student, faculty, and staff volunteers to work at 300 local job sites during one day of service.  Registration for volunteers and job requests for residents will be available in fall 2014 for the 2015 Big Event. Check for updates at http://thebigeventku.com .


One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
1 of 9 public universities with outstanding study abroad programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
$275 million in externally funded research expenditures
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times