It's Friday and we could all use a little d'aww to get us through the last thing keeping us from experiencing the weekend. Today, Oculus announced that they have given the University of Maryland $31 Million to fund the building of a brand new computer science building. Two of the four founders of Oculus, Brendan Iribe and Michael Antonov, not only attended UMD, but met there when they were living across the hall from each other in Denton Hall. Iribe himself is putting up $31 Million of the donation, $1 Million of which will go to create the Brendan Iribe Scholarship in Computer Science. Antonov is pitching in with $4 Million, with $500,000 going to establish a scholarship. The remaining of the $35 Million will go to create the Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Innovation.
The University of Maryland was an inspiration for me, and the relationships I made there have lasted a lifetime. I’ve always wanted to give back to the school and public education system, and I hope this building will shape the future of computer science students at the university. The space is designed for hackers, makers and engineers, which will help give rise to future breakthroughs, products and startups that will transform the way we live and interact with the world around us. - Iribe
Iribe's mother, Elizabeth, will also be donating an additional $3 Million for two endowed chairs at the University of Maryland's Department of Computer Science. The center itself will allow for collaborative efforts, focus on hacker and maker spaces, and have labs featuring the most cutting edge technologies for research and to inspire innovation.
I've been passionate about computer science my whole life, and my experience at the University of Maryland fed that passion even more. My hope is that this gift will give UMD students access to world-class resources and facilities for computer science that enables them to achieve the seemingly impossible. - Antonov
I think it's wonderful that these two founders are giving back to an institution that they feel gave them so much. It's always great to see people take their earnings and want to do something good for society and those who will come after them. It's certain that future UMD students will find this donation and new center extremely beneficial. A little charity can go a long way, or in this case, that $38 Million (including Mom Iribe's contribution) will go on for generations. We can work together to create a better society, and it's definitely fantastic to see some nice news in gaming after all of the horrible things we've been reading about lately.
What do you think? If you had a spare $30 Million dollars laying around, what would you do with it? Would you use it for philanthropic endeavors, or would you do something else with it? Would you put money back into the school you graduated from, or would you find another area to be charitable with?