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$50 million new gift from Thomas Siebel establishes new school for computing
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$50 million new gift from Thomas Siebel establishes new school for computing

There’s a new department at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

The university announced that they are establishing the Siebel School of Computing and Data Science.

The new department comes after a $50 million gift from Thomas Siebel, an alumnus of the program and the CEO of C3 AI, an enterprise artificial intelligence company in used in industries like agribusiness, defense and manufacturing.

“We are thrilled to partner with the University of Illinois to establish the Siebel School of Computing & Data Science,” Siebel said. “By supporting cutting-edge research and fostering innovation, we hope to empower future generations of leaders in technology and society, driving positive change in our world.”

The school’s goal is advance technological innovations between intersections of computing and data science. The university touts graduates have helped work on computer advancements like the first modern web browser, PayPal and YouTube.

“The establishment of the Siebel School of Computing & Data Science exemplifies the University of Illinois’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of knowledge and fostering collaborative solutions to global challenges,” said Grainger College of Engineering Dean Rashid Bashir. “This transformative gift will empower our faculty and students to lead the next generation of technological advancements, further solidifying our position as a world-renowned institution.”

The new school still needs to be approved by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees and the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

Thomas M. Siebel is an American billionaire businessman, technologist, and author.

He was the founder of enterprise software company Siebel Systems and is the founder, chairman, and CEO of, an artificial intelligence software platform and applications company.

The Siebel Foundation (founded 1996) is active in support of the homeless and underprivileged, educational and research programs, methamphetamine abuse prevention, and alternative energy solutions.

The Siebel Foundation created the Siebel Scholars Foundation, the Siebel Energy Institute, and the Dearborn Scholars Fund in Montana. In 2005, Siebel founded the Montana Meth Project.[3][61] The Office of National Drug Control Policy awarded the Meth Project a White House commendation as the most influential prevention campaign in 2006, and Tom Siebel accepted the award on the program’s behalf.

He was also recognized for his work on the program with the 2006 Director’s Community Leadership Award from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In 2001, Siebel donated $32 million to his alma mater, the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, to build the Siebel Center for Computer Science, opened in spring 2004.

In 2006, Siebel donated $4 million to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to establish two endowed full professorships, the Thomas M. Siebel Chair in the History of Science and the Thomas M. Siebel Chair in Computer Science.

Siebel pledged an additional $100 million gift to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2007.

In 2015, the Siebel Foundation launched the Siebel Energy Institute to research the data management of energy infrastructure monitoring data.

In 2016, Siebel donated $25 million to build the Siebel Center for Design at the University of Illinois, a 60,000-square-foot multidisciplinary hub designed by architects Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and was completed in 2020.

He is the chairman of First Virtual Group, a diversified holding company with interests in investment management, commercial real estate, agribusiness, and philanthropy.

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