The California Institute of Technology has announced a $60 million gift from the estate of engineer and longtime supporter Allen Davis.
Made as part of Break Through: the Caltech Campaign, the gift will support the creation of endowed faculty and leadership chairs, ensuring that scholars have the support and freedom they need to develop ideas that can make a difference. To date, Caltech has drawn on Davis's gift, which was received by the university in 2015, to create four leadership chairs and one professorial chair.
Throughout his long career, Davis founded companies that make sensors and switches used by airlines, the military, and NASA to manage fuel, oil, coolant, and hydraulic brakes and landing gear. In 1977, his friend Ben Earl, a civil engineering graduate of Caltech ('44) who met Davis in a networking group for CEOs, invited him to join Caltech Associates.
"Allen Davis understood deeply that talented individuals empowered by unfettered resources can change the world for the better," said Caltech president Thomas F. Rosenbaum, holder of the Sonja and William Davidow Presidential Chair and professor of physics. "His generosity permits scholars from across the disciplines to explore, discover, and invent, propelling forward the Caltech mission."