Thursday, September 17, 2009

Harris Corporation Commits $2 Million to Georgia Tech's School of Electrical and Computer Engineering

/PRNewswire/ -- Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) , an international communications and information technology company, has signed an agreement to make a $2 million donation to the Georgia Institute of Technology's School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). The gift, made through the Harris Foundation, will help support a capital campaign for construction of a new ECE headquarters and the renovation of the school's 47-year-old Van Leer Building, where some 7,000 students receive instruction each year.

Harris will donate $500,000 each year for four years beginning in 2010 -- the anticipated completion date of the Georgia Tech Foundation's private fund drive for the new facilities. Specifically, the Harris gift is intended for construction of an auditorium or other similar space. Harris has a decades-long partnership with Georgia Tech and its School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, which is the largest producer of electrical and computer engineers by degree in the nation. The company employs nearly 200 of the school's graduates.

Howard L. Lance, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Harris, and Dr. G.P. "Bud" Peterson, president of Georgia Tech, signed an agreement for the donation during a special ceremony at the Harris Customer Briefing Center in Melbourne, Florida. The event also included a reception attended by Harris employees who are Georgia Tech graduates and by other representatives from the university.

"While it may be tempting for corporations to reduce educational support during challenging economic times, at Harris we believe that this is exactly the right time to invest in our company's future by supporting excellent schools like Georgia Tech, whose graduates have helped make Harris a national and global leader in the communications and information technology sectors," said Lance. "Our investments in education and university partnerships pay dividends many times over."

"Our faculty and students are currently scattered across 10 buildings around the campus, the Van Leer classrooms are outdated, and the building lacks adequate laboratory facilities," said Dr. Gary S. May, professor and Steve W. Chaddick School Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who attended the check presentation. "Clearly, this generous lead gift from Harris Corporation provides significant momentum for the school's long-term capital needs and helps to create a new presence that will serve us well in the 21st Century."

In addition to the $2 million gift announced today, Harris has donated some $280,000 to the university since 2006. This includes a five-year, $250,000 pledge for a research lab in the Nanotechnology Research Center, and another $30,000 to support various programs within the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

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