June 17, 1997
Contact: Carmen Ramos Chandler,
The gift is the largest an alumnus and the second largest from an individual in the university's 39-year history.
Gates graduated from Cal State Northridge in 1983 with a major in electrical engineering. He co-founded Xircom in 1988 with partner J. Kirk Matthews. The pair devised the computer industry's first adapters for connecting portable personal computers to local area networks. Xircom has offices on four continents and reached nearly $200 million in net sales last year.
"As an undergraduate at Cal State Northridge, I worked closely with my professors in a way that only graduate students at other universities do," Gates said. "The engineering training I received there was instrumental to the success of Xircom products, and I am delighted to acknowledge Northridge's contributions to my education with this gift."
The gift designates CSUN's University Foundation as an irrevocable beneficiary of the Dirk I. Gates Charitable Remainder Trust, to benefit the College of Engineering and Computer Science.
Sharlene Katz, the college's acting associate dean who worked closely with Gates when he was a student, noted that Xircom has also funded scholarships for electrical engineering and computer science students for the past three years. She expects the company to continue the scholarships this year.
"This gift results in part from the long association between Mr. Gates and Dr. Katz," said Michael Hammerschmidt, CSUN's director of development. "Her mentorship shaped his ability and drive, which has been manifested in the pioneering work of Xircom. Their relationship maintained his connection with Cal State Northridge and was a key factor in his making this generous gift."
California State University Chancellor's Office Press Releases