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Auhll Gives UCSB Engineering $500,000
updated: Feb 25, 2010, 11:09 AM

Source: UCSB

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) - Richard A. Auhll, a successful entrepreneur, has made a $500,000 contribution to renew and expand his support for the College of Engineering at UC Santa Barbara. The recent gift will increase the endowment for the Richard A. Auhll Professor and Dean of Engineering to $1 million, and also provide $100,000 in unrestricted support for priority initiatives.

"We are grateful to Richard Auhll for his tremendous leadership and ongoing support, particularly in these challenging times," said Larry Coldren, acting dean of engineering and Kavli Professor of Optoelectronics and Sensors. "The Auhll Professorship for the Dean of Engineering will now be endowed at the $1 million level, which will be instrumental in the recruitment of a new, permanent dean for the college. Richard's generous, unrestricted gift will also allow the college to support innovative educational programs and pioneering areas of research."

The College of Engineering seeks to raise $10 million in philanthropic support over three years to help address current needs brought about by the huge reduction in state funding for the University of California. Fund-raising priorities for engineering include support for faculty retention, graduate student fellowships, entrepreneurial research and education, and classroom facilities. With Auhll's leadership gift, which helped launch the effort, more than $3.5 million has been contributed toward the goal to maintain and enhance the overall excellence of the college.

Auhll has been a generous benefactor and volunteer leader at UCSB since 1994. He is a member of the Dean's Cabinet in the College of Engineering and a trustee of the UC Santa Barbara Foundation.

An aerospace engineer by training, Auhll earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan, a master's degree from Stanford University, and an M.B.A. degree from Harvard University.

He was founder, president, and chairman of the board of Circon Corporation for 30 years before his retirement in 1998. Under his direction, Circon became the largest U.S. producer of medical endoscopes and color video systems for minimally invasive surgery. Auhll received the Master Entrepreneur of the Year award in 1992 from the Institute of American Entrepreneurs.

An expert on corporate hostile takeovers, he has been a distinguished speaker at UCSB, Harvard Business School, Harvard Law School, and the Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware.

Auhll's additional support for the campus includes gifts for the UC Santa Barbara Dance Company; the Santa Barbara Dance Theater, a professional dance company in residence at UCSB; the Richard A. Auhll Student Center in engineering; and student support for the Jean M. Devlin endowment in pharmacology.


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