The $35.5 million pledge is the largest alumni gift to UCI – Orange County Register

A married couple is behind the largest-ever alumni gift to UC Irvine, which will be used to support information and computer science students.

Paul and Jo Butterworth have named UCI as beneficiaries of their estate, a gift estimated at about $35.5 million, university officials said. The donation will be used to support students with scholarships and fellowships, professorships, and to support new research initiatives within the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences.

“I considered not going to university without financial support because I didn’t have any money. But when the UCI came to the rescue with a package, it made all the difference in the world,” said Paul Butterworth, who earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the UCI, in a statement. “That inspired us to support students – so that they can follow their dreams despite their financial situation.”

Jo Butterworth, class of 1975, graduated from UCI’s School of Social Sciences.

Paul Butterworth, an early graduate of the university’s computer science master’s program, is co-founder and chief technology officer of Vantiq Inc., an enterprise software development company headquartered in Walnut Creek. Previously, he co-founded Emotive, a cloud platform developer, and Forte Software, and held other computer science positions.

“I started my career as a computer scientist and software engineer at UCI,” he said, adding that universities have been the catalyst for many advances in these fields, “because that’s where the fundamental technologies were developed. This is why Jo and I are committed to supporting the UCI and its students: it is in education that we can make the greatest impact.”

The couple sponsor the Butterworth product development competition and Paul Butterworth has been on the Dean’s Leadership Council at the School of Information and Computer Science and on the UCI Examination Board for a number of years. He is a member of the Bren School Hall of Fame and received the 2005 Lauds & Laurels Distinguished Alumnus Award from the UCI Alumni Association.

The Bren School has more than 3,900 students, including more than 3,100 undergraduate students in seven majors, and is the only “computer-centric” school in the UC system, according to information about the school.

“We are very grateful for this generous contribution,” said Marios Papaefthymiou, the school’s dean, in a statement. “This gift will serve as a strong and enduring foundation to support the success of students at our school well into the future.” The $35.5 million pledge is the largest alumni gift to UCI – Orange County Register

Dais Johnston

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