Building tomorrow's engineering leaders
“Giving to Berkeley tells people that you want to make this precious university even stronger.”
Talk about bad timing. The Campaign for Berkeley launched the same week in 2008 that Wall Street and the global economy crashed. But campus leaders were undeterred — as were those who stand by Berkeley’s preeminence.
In a sweeping gesture of confidence in the university, Coleman Fung ’87 was the first person to step forward with a $15 million gift to establish the Coleman Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership. Founded in 2010, it offers a new one-year Master of Engineering degree and other programs that help students gain insight on entrepreneurship and commercialization.
“Our students must step outside of their technical comfort zone and chart their own career paths in leading large or small enterprises, non-profits, or government — to change and improve our world,” says Fung.
The master’s program has already graduated 300 students and is enrolling 200 students from a highly competitive pool of over 1,300 applicants for the Class of 2015.
Connor Landgraf ’13, M.Eng. ’14, an exemplar of the program’s success, turned his senior thesis project into a startup that aims to revolutionize the stethoscope. Eko Devices offers an attachment that amplifies, records, and transmits high-quality heart sounds to a doctor’s phone or computer for a more precise — and potentially life-saving — reading.
“The Fung Institute helped me recruit cofounders and gain knowledge on fundraising, legal issues, and leadership,” says Landgraf. “Thanks to its support, we hope to put the power of a cardiologist in every physician’s pocket.”