The gift includes $5 million for the Academic Innovation & Research in Engineering program, which conducts K-12 and community college outreach, promotes interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects through project-based learning, and prepares students for the rigors of engineering and the workforce through hands-on, collaborative, and reconfigurable learning environments. The gift also will establish a $2 million endowment for the position of the school's dean and two endowments of $1 million each to fund need-based scholarships for underrepresented undergraduates and fellowships for underrepresented graduate students.
Opus Foundation founder Stacey Nicholas is a member of the Samueli School’s Engineering Leadership Council and Diversity Advisory Board and a trustee at St. Margaret's Episcopal School, where in 2004 she spearheaded the creation of a summer internship program for high school students at Samueli.
"I greatly admire and support Dean [Gregory] Washington's commitment to outreach, diversity, and innovation in STEM education," said Nicholas. "I am thrilled to be able to make a difference."