Nvidia founding couple donate $50 million for AI computing to alma mater Oregon State University

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Oregon State University announced today that Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun (Jensen) Huang and Lori Huang have donated $50 million to the school to build a new innovation complex on campus.

The university has also raised a total of $100 million in gifts for the launch of what will eventually become a $200 million research and education center featuring one of the nation’s most powerful supercomputers.

The center will conduct research in artificial intelligence, materials science and robotics to solve global challenges in climate science, oceanography, sustainability and water resources.

The complex will also support OSU’s research and education in support of the semiconductor and broader technology industries in Oregon and beyond. Jensen Huang is the founder and CEO of Nvidia, and both he and his wife Lori are graduates of Oregon State University.

“We are excited about this extraordinary philanthropy and dedication to advancing research discovery and problem solving,” OSU President Jayathi Murthy said in a statement.

Artistic rendering of a new innovation center at OSU.

Murthy said the three-story, 150,000-square-foot center is being designed and expected to open in 2025 at the school in Corvallis, Oregon.

Murthy said the center is part of the state of Oregon’s effort to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM education and research. The Huangs graduated from Oregon high schools and met during their college days at OSU’s College of Engineering.

“We discovered our love for computer science and technology at OSU. We hope this gift will inspire future generations of students to also fall in love with technology and its ability to change the world,” the Huangs said in a statement.

“AI is the most transformative technology of our time,” she added. “To harness this power, engineering students need access to a supercomputer, a time machine, to speed up their research. This new AI supercomputer will enable OSU students and researchers to make very significant advances in climate science, oceanography, materials science, robotics and other fields.”

The center will have an Nvidia supercomputer to support the faculty in tackling highly complex and challenging computing problems. The OSU supercomputer — powered by next-generation Nvidia CPUs, GPUs and networks — is expected to be one of the world’s fastest university supercomputers, powerful enough to train the largest AI models and run complex digital twin simulations. The complex will also have a state-of-the-art cleanroom and other specialized research facilities.

During the 2023 Oregon legislative session, OSU will solicit $75 million in state-paid bonding to match philanthropic and university contributions for the collaborative innovation complex.

The complex will feature a state-of-the-art supercomputer with NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD and OVX SuperPOD systems. Water used to cool it will help heat more than 500,000 square feet of construction space on OSU’s Corvallis campus.

OSU Foundation CEO and President Shawn Scoville praised the Huangs’ philanthropy.

“Lori and Jen-Hsun are exceptional Oregon state alumni and truly visionary philanthropists,” said Scoville. “They bring so much to the table. Every project they are involved in is enhanced through their input, and OSU is the great beneficiary of their experience and active involvement. It is a pleasure and an honor to work with them.”

The Huangs’ gift was announced when the OSU Foundation launched the university’s second college-wide fundraising and engagement campaign.

Nvidia is funding a new supercomputer at OSU.

The university has received four grants of $25 million or more for the campaign to date. In 2021, the OSU Foundation announced an anonymous $50 million donation to support the completion of the Reser Stadium. In 2018, the university received its first $50 million gift, a contribution from alumnus Gary Carlson to name the Gary R. Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine.

Lori Huang is the president of the Jen-Hsun and Lori Huang Foundation and supports higher education, public health and STEM initiatives in the US, as well as local community organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Huang Foundation previously gave $5 million to build a cancer research lab at Oregon State University and $30 million for the Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center at Stanford University. The Huangs partnered with Melinda Gates to support AI4ALL, a national non-profit organization committed to increasing diversity and inclusion in AI. They have also awarded major educational grants to Johns Hopkins University and City Year San Jose. Lori graduated from Oregon State University in 1985 with a BSEE. The Huangs have two children.

Oregon State has more than 34,000 students.

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