Office of the President

March 9, 2017

A Renaissance man for the modern era

Ana Mari Cauce

Today, it was my great pleasure to announce the formal naming of the University of Washington Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering. Paul’s support for the UW and his leadership in computer science education are both humbling and inspiring. It is an honor to have the work of this outstanding school forever linked with Paul, who has done so much to make this University and the world a better place.

Elevating the CSE department to a school, thanks to Paul’s generous endowment gift through the Be Boundless campaign, is a testament to the excellence and impact of the faculty, staff, students and alumni who have grown this program over its 50-year history. With it, our computer science program, already among the world’s elite, will reach a new level. It will enable us to attract even more top faculty and students and devote needed resources to the excellent and deserving students pursuing careers in this rapidly evolving field. In doing so, we will reflect Paul’s deep conviction that the greatest potential for uninhibited innovation and fresh thinking lies with young people who have the audacity to dream big.

As a co-founder of Microsoft, Paul helped transform technology. But his passion – to innovate, inspire and actively change the world for the better – is far-reaching and wide-ranging. He has defined himself as a seeker of the next Big Idea, and the next one, and the next one…

As CEO and founder of Vulcan Ventures, he has applied that seeker’s passion to everything from the Seattle Seahawks to reimagining space travel. He has championed the protection of endangered elephants by working to shut down the ivory trade and dared to imagine both the future of brain science and the future of machine learning. His wide-ranging passions are felt throughout the city of Seattle from the transformed South Lake Union neighborhood to the Upstream Music Fest. A committed supporter of libraries and museums, he has helped fund Seattle icons like MoPOP as well as the UW’s Faye G. Allen Center for the Visual Arts and the Kenneth S. and Faye G. Allen Library Endowment. His curiosity and dedication to progress make him a true Renaissance man for the modern world.

With this gift, Paul becomes a Regental Laureate, the highest honor the University can bestow on a supporter, in honor of both his generosity and vision. The future of computer science is tied inextricably to the future of humanity and Paul’s support for CSE is about so much more than one discipline. Population health, climate science, education, access and equity – virtually every human aspiration – will depend on data and technology to advance in ways that better us all.