Major gift from AMD honors alumnus and company cofounder
- Advanced Micro Devices, a global supplier of integrated circuits, announced in October that it is providing a $2.5 million gift to ECE in the form of an endowed chair.
- According to Department Head Richard Blahut, the department is in the process of a national search to fill the chair, and a decision will be made by next year.
Advanced Micro Devices, a global supplier of integrated circuits, announced in October that it is providing a $2.5 million gift to ECE in the form of an endowed chair. Named for the company's cofounder and ECE alumnus, the W.J. "Jerry" Sanders III-Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Endowed Chair will support the scholarly and research activities of a world-class faculty member.
"Every chair brings honor to the department and to the chair holder, and the Sanders-AMD chair is no exception," said ECE Head Richard E. Blahut. "To have the names Jerry Sanders and Advanced Micro Devices tied to our department in this way brings prestige and establishes an enduring relationship."
According to Blahut, the department is in the process of a national search to fill the chair, and a decision will be made by next year.
Sanders (BSEE '58), who is AMD's chairman and chief executive officer, cofounded the company with seven colleagues in 1969. AMD has since become a leading U.S.-based semiconductor manufacturer. The Wall Street Transcript named Sanders the Best Chief Executive Officer in the semiconductor industry for the years 1983, 1984, and 1985, and runner-up in 1991. Sanders received the Robert N. Noyce Award, the industry's highest honor for leadership, from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) in 1998, and in 2001 he joined a select group of high-tech leaders who have received the Medal of Achievement from the American Electronics Association, the nation's largest high-tech industry association.
Sanders also cofounded several prominent industry groups including the Semiconductor Industry Association, the Santa Clara Manufacturing Group, the Semiconductor Research Corporation, and the Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation.
"This latest honor further reinforces Jerry's place as one of the leaders in the semiconductor industry who helped shape the way we use technology today," said Rob Herb (BSEE '83), executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer at AMD. "Jerry's career and the culture he has helped create at AMD are a testament to the power of innovation, the belief that that no one has a monopoly on good ideas, and the value of the individual. [The Sanders-AMD chair] was created in this spirit, helping produce the next generation of engineering innovators."
The endowed chair is just the latest example of AMD's long-standing commitment to innovation at Illinois. The company sponsors major computing research programs emphasizing binary code and run-time optimization.
In addition, AMD has sponsored a student design competition-named for Sanders-at the annual Engineering Open House since the late 1980s. Students from Illinois and other engineering schools design and build robot vehicles that compete against each other in the contest.
In 1997, Sanders served as a design contest judge, and in an interview at that time he said AMD sponsors the event because it encourages three important corporate values: competition, creativity, and teamwork. v
A Fortune 500 and Standard & Poor's 500 company, AMD produces microprocessors, Flash memory devices, and support circuitry for communications and networking applications at manufacturing facilities in the United States, Europe, Japan, and Asia. Based in Sunnyvale, CA, AMD had revenues of $4.6 billion in 2000.