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Contact: Justin Harmon 609/258-5732
Date: November 17, 1997
$10 Million Gift to Princeton to Build State-of-the-Art Center for Engineering Education
PRINCETON, N.J. - A $10 million gift from Dennis J. Keller of Princeton's Class of 1963 will be used to create a state-of-the-art education center for the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Keller, a trustee of the University, is chairman and CEO of DeVry Inc. -- one of the largest private higher-education systems in North America.
The new center, which will be designed to meet the engineering challenges of the future, will encompass flexible modern classrooms, seminar spaces, and faculty offices, a large auditorium with sophisticated projection and audio-visual equipment, a multimedia center with advanced computer technology and a high-technology engineering library that will be the most advanced in the University's library system. Located near the intersection of Olden and William streets in Princeton -- where liberal arts buildings give way to the Engineering Quadrangle -- the center will stand as a symbolic gateway to the engineering campus. It will be named to honor Keller's boyhood friend and Princeton roommate, Peter W. Friend, who died in 1962.
"In the 21st century, as computing and other disciplines in engineering become increasingly integral to the liberal arts curriculum, Princeton students and faculty will have the very latest technologies and a truly outstanding setting in which to study and learn," said University President Harold T. Shapiro. "This new center will bring together students and faculty from across the University community, and we are deeply grateful to Dennis Keller, who has been such an outstanding leader and supporter of Princeton, for his generosity."
Princeton's School of Engineering and Applied Science, one of the top engineering schools in the nation, holds a unique status as a comprehensive engineering school closely integrated with a major liberal arts university. Despite its small size - some 750 undergraduates - the school is widely recognized for continuously advancing the frontiers of engineering and producing engineers who take leadership roles in the nation's increasingly global, technological society.
Keller's undergraduate major was economics, not engineering. But among his many volunteer activities for Princeton, he chairs the Leadership Council of the Engineering School. " I am delighted to play a role in joining together Princeton's unmatched tradition of undergraduate education with the sophisticated new resources and challenging new technologies that the future will demand," he said. "I believe that this new center will truly serve as the gateway to an extraordinarily vital and exciting world of ideas."
Keller's interest in and knowledge about education expands well beyond the bounds of the Princeton campus. After receiving an MBA degree from the University of Chicago, he went on to co-found the Keller Graduate School of Management, which today offers MBA and other masters degree programs for working adults at 23 centers in 10 major cities across the United States. Ten years ago, Keller Graduate School acquired the DeVry Institutes of Technology, which now provide curricula in general education, technology and business from the associate through the bachelor's degree level on 15 campuses in the United States and Canada. Both units are contained within DeVry Inc. -- a New York Stock Exchange-listed company -- which also encompasses the Becker CPA Review, the oldest and largest provider of courses for students planning to take the CPA examination.
Among his many philanthropic and volunteer activities, Keller is chairman of the Graduate School of Business Council for the University of Chicago, vice-chairman of the Chicago Zoological Society and a director of the Great Books Foundation and of the George M. Pullman Educational Foundation. He also serves as a co-chair of Princeton's Anniversary Campaign, launched in 1995 as a part of the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the signing of the University's charter.
The Anniversary Campaign is seeking to raise a total of $750 million by the year 2000 to strengthen the University's programs of teaching, scholarship and research. The campaign has now raised over $500 million since it was launched in 1995. The new engineering education center is a key element of the University's efforts to expand and modernize its science and engineering facilities through the campaign. The University will continue to seek gifts from alumni, parents and friends to complete the funding of the new engineering center and other priorities of the Anniversary Campaign.