Skip to content

$1 million gift will support design studios, scholarships at KU School of Engineering

January 30, 2014

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, Kan. 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 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.

Posted on
January 30, 2014
Share this article
Connect with Us
Keller_Michelle_2020new
Michelle Keller
Assistant Vice President, Communications & Donor Relations
785-832-7336
Latest News
wonderful company
University of Kansas renames Institute for Sustainable Engineering after The Wonderful Company
ku-endowment-2015
KU Endowment Board elects six new trustees
Kansas Abroad: 2023
Immersive program gives students chance to ‘study abroad’ in Kansas