The endowment gift will support the college — which will be renamed Khoury College of Computer and Information Sciences — in "all aspects of [its] future focus." Given the growing importance of artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, and cybersecurity in global economic activity, the university's academic plan, Northeastern 2025, envisions a world in which humans are empowered to become agile learners, thinkers, and creators beyond the capacity of any machine. During a private meeting with computer science faculty and staff, Khoury suggested that he was doubling down on that vision.
"[My wife] Julie and I would like to help prepare learners for a future reality where human, data, and technological literacies will become imperative for success and leadership in a world based on innovation rather than resources," said Khoury, who earned his MBA at Northeastern, as did his wife. "This digital transformation is well underway, and it is impacting how all of us communicate, learn, and work."
Computer science enrollment at Northeastern has skyrocketed over the past decade and today stands at 3,474 students, even as the quality of the applicant pool continues to rise.
"You are the folks who are going to help today's learners make contributions to help our companies remain at the forefront," said Khoury, who has been a successful entrepreneur in a variety of fields, including medical products and services, aerospace manufacturing and distribution, and oilfield services. "In our view, this was the organization at Northeastern that should have the additional funding to help separate this school from those that are going to be looking at us from behind."