Brown University announced today new gifts totaling $44 million that will enable the University to begin improvements and expansion of engineering facilities for research and instruction on the College Hill campus.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — New gifts totaling $44 million, announced today, have launched a $160-million campaign for the School of Engineering at Brown University. The gifts will enable the University to move forward with plans to improve and expand facilities and support the growth of the School of Engineering.

The gifts, which have been formally accepted by the Brown Corporation, include lead gifts totaling $35 million from venture capitalist Theresia Gouw, a 1990 Brown graduate and a fellow of the Corporation of Brown University, and from Managing Director of Silver Lake Partners Charles H. Giancarlo, a Brown trustee and 1979 graduate, and Dianne G. Giancarlo. An additional $9 million has been given by donors who wish to remain anonymous. Gouw’s gift honors Barrett Hazeltine, renowned professor of engineering emeritus at Brown, who inspired Gouw while she pursued her bachelor’s degree in engineering.

“These generous donors recognize the crucial role engineering and technology leaders play in addressing global challenges,” said Brown President Christina Paxson. “On behalf of the entire Brown community, I thank them for their enormous generosity and unwavering support of the growth of engineering at Brown.”

The $160-million campaign will enable the University to move forward with plans to improve and expand facilities for the growth of the School of Engineering. Current goals of the campaign include:

  • construction of new teaching and research facilities adjacent to existing buildings;
  • creation of a Center for Entrepreneurship;
  • addition of 15 new faculty for a total of 60;
  • development of innovative undergraduate and graduate educational programs;
  • renovation of current classroom and laboratory space
    (Read more about University planning for campus development).

“Brown is such a special place that has created wonderful opportunities for so many, including for me. I feel very fortunate to have gone from a first-generation immigrant on financial aid to being in a position to support the school that has been so significant in shaping my life and career,” said Gouw, a managing partner in the venture capital firm Accel Partners. “I am delighted to join with others to support the school’s growth and continued commitment to cultivating creative thinkers and leaders. I am particularly pleased to honor Barrett Hazeltine, who has made an enduring difference in the lives of so many students he has taught, mentored, and inspired over the course of his career.”

Barrett Hazeltine came to Brown in 1959 and has continued to teach classes since moving to emeritus status in 2000. His classes on engineering management and entrepreneurship have long been among the most popular on campus — a prime example of the school’s emphasis on entrepreneurship as a way to bring engineering solutions out of the lab and into people’s lives.

“It’s a great honor to be recognized in Theresia’s gift,” Hazeltine said. “The spirit of entrepreneurship and social action possessed by Brown students is genuinely remarkable. My thanks to Theresia for a gift that will build on this spirit and benefit generations of future students.”

Engineering growth at Brown

From its beginnings in 1847, engineering at Brown has been well integrated into the University’s full range of academic disciplines. In recent decades, Brown has positioned itself as a leader in vital and emerging fields like biomedical engineering, nanotechnology, environmental engineering, and computer vision. Research in those fields strengthens the ties of engineering faculty and students with those in biology, chemistry, physics, geological sciences, computer science, mathematics, and other departments.

“Brown’s approach to engineering prepares innovative, broadly educated leaders who are equipped to address global challenges in areas ranging from energy and the environment to economic development and health care,” said Charles Giancarlo. “Dianne and I are so pleased to be able to support the continued development of Brown’s School of Engineering and the education of future inspired engineers and entrepreneurs.”

Lawrence Larson, dean of the School of Engineering, described the gifts as a tremendous step in moving the school forward in its plans to renovate, replace, and expand facilities to support faculty expansion and enable innovative education and outstanding research.

“We want to continue to lead in cross-disciplinary research collaboration among our faculty and foster the broadest possible educational experience for our students,” Larson said. “Our physical space will reflect and reinforce those efforts.”

As part of its current strategic planning effort, the University engaged planners Sasaki Associates to study usage patterns of the campus community, particularly faculty and students. After careful data analysis, including detailed surveys to track student and faculty movement and collaborations, University planners determined that it is essential for programs and departments vital to the University’s core academic mission to be located on the College Hill campus with other closely related academic programs. In the case of engineering, the University will locate new and retrofitted research and instructional facilities adjacent to existing buildings of the School of Engineering. The gifts will enable planning to begin, determining the size, scope, and location of new and expanded space — a process that will include broad community engagement.

Theresia Gouw

Theresia Gouw is managing partner at Accel Partners, a leading venture capital firm focused primarily on technology companies. She joined the firm in 1999 and was named partner in 2000. Gouw focuses primarily on Internet, mobile, and software investments. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Imperva (IMPV) and Trulia (TRLA) as well as several private companies including Glam Media, LearnVest, ModCloth, and BirchBox.

She was elected to the Brown Board of Trustees in 2007 and to the 12-member Board of Fellows in 2012. Gouw serves on the board of, on the Stanford GSB Trust, and as a member of Stanford’s BAVCG Investment Fund. She earned an Sc.B. in engineering, magna cum laude, from Brown and an M.B.A. from Stanford University.

Charles H. Giancarlo

Charles Giancarlo joined Silver Lake Partners in 2007 as a managing director and leads the firm’s Value Creation Team. Silver Lake Partners is the world’s largest technology-focused private equity investor. A senior executive at Cisco Systems from 1993-2007, Giancarlo most recently served as executive vice president and chief development officer of Cisco, leading the company's overall product development and management activities. As chief development officer, Giancarlo was responsible for all of Cisco’s product divisions and business units and led Cisco's expansion into a large number of new markets and technologies. Giancarlo currently serves on the boards of Accenture, Mercury Payment Systems, Vantage Data Centers, and Blue Jeans Networks and is the chairman of Avaya.

He was elected to the Brown Board of Trustees in 2008. Giancarlo holds an Sc.B degree in electrical engineering from Brown, an M.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of California–Berkeley, and an M.B.A. from Harvard University.

Facts About the Brown School of Engineering

Brown’s program in engineering was established in 1847, making it the oldest such program in the Ivy League. Brown currently has approximately 45 full-time, tenure-track faculty members in engineering. Externally supported research includes:

  • Fiscal year 2012 awards totaling $18,350,000;
  • Support for 93 graduate research assistants.

Faculty in the School of Engineering account for:

  • 19 fellows of major professional societies;
  • 14 National Science Foundation Career Awards;
  • Five members of the National Academy of Engineering;
  • One member of the National Academy of Sciences;
  • One fellow of the Royal Society;
  • Four members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences;
  • One fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Brown’s School of Engineering currently enrolls more than 400 undergraduate students:

  • Class of 2013: 104 concentrators (33% women);
  • Class of 2014: 98 concentrators (36% women);
  • Class of 2015: 103 concentrators (34% women).

Brown currently enrolls 150 graduate students in engineering. Among Ph.D. students:

  • Ph.D. students per full faculty member: 2.9;
  • All Ph.D. students are guaranteed five years of financial support;
  • Brown accepts approximately 12 percent of applicants for engineering Ph.D. programs.

Recent research news from the School of Engineering

People with paralysis control robotic arms with brain-computer interface (May 16, 2012)
Brown researchers build robotic bat wing (February 20, 2013)
A better way to culture central nervous cells (January 29, 2013)
Brown to lead multi-university quantum metamaterials research (October 1, 2012)
Biochip measures glucose in saliva, not blood (January 20, 2012)