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Top 10 Gifts to Purdue University

Six of the top 10 gifts to Purdue University have been awarded this fall. The top 10 gifts are:

• $37.496 million in securities from an anonymous donor in 1991 to fund an endowment that primarily funds graduate student fellowships.

• $30 million from Michael and Katherine (Kay) Birck for the Birck Nanotechnology Center. The Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex also is named for the couple in recognition of their $3 million donation. They also were major contributors to Purdue's new aquatic center. Michael Birck, a member of the Purdue Board of Trustees, received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Purdue in 1960 and a master's in electrical engineering from New York University in 1962. He helped found Tellabs Inc. in 1975, was its president and chief executive officer for more than 25 years and is now the company's chairman. The Bircks live in Hinsdale, Ill., where Kay Birck is head of nursing at Women's Healthcare of Hinsdale. $30 million gift announced Sept. 7, 2001.

• $26.8 million in stock from John S. Wright Trust, which funded an endowment to promote forestry and botany efforts. Wright, a researcher for Eli Lilly and Company, left the securities in a 1964 bequest. Purdue assumed stewardship of the securities when the last of his designated survivors died in 1995.

• Almost $26 million from Lilly Endowment for Discovery Park. Gift announced Oct. 25, 2001.

• $21 million in timberland to the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources from the estate of Fred van Eck, a New York financier who was impressed with Purdue's hardwood tree research even though he never visited the campus. Gift announced Oct. 1, 2001.

A gift of patents for insecticides from DuPont to the Department of Entomology. Gift announced Sept. 9, 2001.

• $13 million from Donald and Carol Scifres for the Birck Nanotechnology Center. Donald Scifres earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Purdue in 1968 and a doctoral degree in electrical engineering in 1972 from the University of Illinois. Carol Scifres is a 1969 Purdue graduate. Both are natives of West Lafayette and now live in California. He is co-chairman of the board and chief strategy officer of JDS Uniphase Corp., an optical communications company with home offices in San Jose, Calif., and Ottawa, Canada. Gift announced Sept. 7, 2001.

• $10 million from 1968 Krannert alumnus Jerry Rawls for building the Krannert School of Management's new Rawls Hall, a $32 million building to be constructed across the street from the existing Krannert Building, at the corner of State and Grant streets. Rawls is president, chief executive officer and director of Finisar Corp. in Sunnyvale, Calif. Gift announced May 4, 2000.

• $10.5 million from Florence E. Perry to create an endowed William E. and Florence E. Perry Chair of Mechanical Engineering in memory of her husband, William, a 1938 mechanical engineering alumnus. Gift announced Sept. 21, 2001.

• $9 million from 1947 chemical engineering graduates Robert and Marilyn Forney for the expansion of the School of Chemical Engineering. Robert Forney retired in 1989 as executive vice president of DuPont, and Marilyn Forney has spent the past 20 years offering expertise in the construction of more than 800 low-income housing units for the elderly and disabled in Delaware and Pennsylvania. They live in Unionville, Pa. Gift announced Sept. 6, 2000.

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