The Computer Science Department at Illinois Institute of Technology (Illinois Tech) received a $7.6 million gift from Chris Gladwin, member of the Illinois Tech Board of Trustees and founder of Cleversafe, a high-tech company that revolutionized big data storage. The gift will be used to help strengthen Illinois Tech’s computer science program by expanding facilities, attracting top faculty and developing an endowment fund.
“Chris Gladwin’s generous gift to the Illinois Tech computer science will give us the opportunity to build on our reputation as the university of choice for talented computer science students and faculty from around the world. When I talk with Chris, it is always clear that he believes that we have only begun here at Illinois Tech to achieve our potential as a premier technology-focused university—and this investment in our computer science department is a testament to that conviction,” said Alan W. Cramb, president of Illinois Institute of Technology.
Cleversafe, which was sold to IBM, is an Illinois Tech success story. In 2004, Gladwin founded the tech startup and in 2005 he set up shop at University Technology Park that was just opening on the Illinois Tech Campus to offer facilities for startups utilizing advanced science. Cleversafe tapped into the vast knowledge and resources available at the university, employing dozens of Illinois Tech computer science students and alumni in the process.
“In the early days of Cleversafe, when it was located in the University Tech Park at Illinois Institute of Technology, I was so fortunate to be able to hire talented graduates from Illinois Tech’s computer science department. They were instrumental in our success and so I wanted to give back to the institution that helped make Cleversafe the powerhouse it is today in data storage,” said Chris Gladwin.
Gladwin is challenging colleagues and other investors to match his donation to the university as a way of giving back and helping the continued growth of Chicago as a leading high-tech ecosystem. With a top-tier computer science program, Illinois Tech will be positioned to provide the human fuel for Chicago’s emerging tech startups.