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Portland State University Receives Largest Gift in University History

At a public announcement ceremony today, PSU President Daniel O. Bernstine and Dr. Fariborz Maseeh, founder and president of The Massiah Foundation, announced the largest gift in Portland State University's history -- $8 million from the Foundation to the College of Engineering and Computer Science. With this gift, the College will become the Fariborz Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Maseeh, a first-generation immigrant born in Iran, received both his B.S. in Structural Engineering and M.S. in Mathematics from PSU before earning a doctorate of science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1990. Maseeh is an internationally known expert in the field of micro-technology (also known as MEMS) and is the founder and former president and chief executive officer of IntelliSense Corporation, based in Wilmington, Mass. In 2000, IntelliSense was acquired by Corning, Inc., after which Maseeh founded an investment management firm located in Southern California.

"On behalf of The Massiah Foundation, we are proud to make this investment in PSU and hope it will help propel the College of Engineering and Computer Science to new heights," said Maseeh. "We are committed to PSU and will contribute in any way we can to achieve its goal of becoming one of the top academic institutions in the nation. Our work has just begun."

The $8 million gift will be used for the construction of the Northwest Center for Engineering, Science and Technology, as well as to establish two professorships, five student fellowships and an endowment for the dean of the College. In addition to the naming of the College, the auditorium in Northwest Center will be named the Maseeh Auditorium.

"This is a historic day for the College, for the University and for the region," said President Bernstine. "This significant investment in engineering and computer science at Portland State will help us to continue to meet the needs of the region through critical research, knowledge creation and workforce development. We are all truly grateful to The Massiah Foundation and to Dr. Maseeh for their generosity."

The $8 million includes funding for the following: * $6 million to support the construction of a new 130,000 square-foot tower and the continued refurbishment of the Fourth Avenue Building (1900 SW Fourth) that together will be known as the Northwest Center for Engineering, Science and Technology; * $1 million to establish two professorships, one to be known as the Maseeh Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the other Maseeh professorship will be in an unnamed area of emerging technology within the College; * $500,000, along with matching funding from Portland State, to establish five student fellowships; and * $500,000 to endow a fund for the dean of the College. The endowment of the deanship will be known as the H. Chik M. Erzurumlu Dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Erzurumlu is the founding dean of the College, established in 1982 at Portland State as the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

"In our quest for excellence, this significant gift will help the College to advance its initiative of being regionally relevant and nationally prominent in a select core of disciplines that are most important to the current and future needs of the region," said Dean Robert D. Dryden.

The Massiah Foundation was established and funded by Fariborz Maseeh as a platform for charitable contributions. The Foundation's mission is to make significant improvements in education, health, arts, literature and science.

IntelliSense was founded by Maseeh in 1991 with the vision of reducing the time and expense of creating next-generation micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) devices. Under his leadership, IntelliSense successfully began the first custom design, development and manufacturing MEMS operation and became the world's fastest-growing MEMS corporation, twice named to both The New England Technology Fast 50 and The Forbes Fast 50.

Maseeh has published numerous scientific articles on topics such as business strategy, fabrication technologies and design and software for MEMS, in addition to securing a number of patents and trademarks. He currently serves on the boards of several technology firms, engineering schools -including the University of California at Irvine and the University of Southern California - and non-profit organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club of Boston and the Children's Hospital of Orange County Foundation for Children.

Located in the heart of Oregon's Silicon Forest, PSU's College of Engineering and Computer Science is uniquely positioned to deliver progressive engineering and computer science education. By teaming with regional industry and government, faculty members keep the curriculum current and prepare PSU students to make an immediate contribution to the workforce through participation in Senior Capstone design projects, internships and research opportunities. During this academic year, the College has a total enrollment of 1,987 students in its undergraduate and graduate programs, a 57-percent increase since 1999. This substantial enrollment increase is due in part to $880,000 in scholarship funds provided by the National Science Foundation for low-income engineering and computer science students.

The College consists of five departments: Civil and Environmental Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Engineering and Technology Management and Mechanical Engineering. All but the last two departments have Ph.D. programs and Portland State is currently in the process of obtaining approval to grant Ph.Ds in those departments. Additionally, two master's degree programs were recently added, a Master of Science in materials science and engineering, and a Master of Science in software engineering.

... Payvand News - 3/19/04 ... --

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