In his annual State of the Campus address today (Sept. 11), WVU President David C. Hardesty Jr. announced that former president and chief operating officer of Oracle Corp. Ray Lane, a WVU alumnus, and his wife Stephanie, have made a major gift to the WVU Foundations capital campaign. The ambitious private giving effort will be officially launched Nov. 11 under the Foundations leadership.

Lane, who pre-taped a segment for broadcast during the presidents speech at WVUs National Research Center for Coal and Energy, earmarked $5 million in support of the Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering in the College of Engineering and Mineral Resourcesthe largest gift ever to the college.

“My time at West Virginia University was very special to me and a real watershed in my life,”said the 1968 mathematics graduate and Pittsburgh native, now with Silicon Valley venture capital company Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield&Byers.

“It was a tremendous experience for me, not only academically, but also as a socialization experience that built the foundation for what I was going to do later in life. So, I really give the University and the experience I had there a lot of the credit for providing the foundation and opportunities for success throughout my life.”

Hardesty said Lane was also tapped as national campaign committee chairman.

In an address aimed mainly at the WVU community in Morgantown, Hardesty asked listeners to dedicate themselves to building greatness for the future by supporting the campaign.

He said the WVU Foundation took in more than $53 million in support of WVU last year, bringing the endowment to an all-time high of $323 million.

“There probably is not a square inch on any of our campuses where philanthropy has not made a difference,”Hardesty said, noting that private giving supports such things as scholarships, graduate fellowships, endowed chairs and professorships that attract top faculty, library enrichment, technology and research partnerships.

“As our states premier higher education institution, we must pledge to do our part as the flagship University meeting the needs of West Virginia,”he said.”We will also call upon private donors and partners to do their part.”

The Lanes’gift will support:

* An endowed chair in computer science, to be held by a nationally recognized scholar, that will attract students, other scholars and grant support for the department

* A program enhancement endowment to support faculty, research and state_of_the_art laboratories, and to continue outreach activities

* Endowed graduate fellowships that will educate and train the next generation of computer scientists and computer engineers

* A non_endowed fund for program enhancement to be used as a venture capital fund to jump_start CSEE ’s research efforts

* A library endowment for computer science materials.

In addition to asking them to support the campaign, Hardesty urged WVU community members to stay close to the needs of the people of West Virginia.

Citing challenges facing the state in such areas as the economy, educational attainment and health, Hardesty noted that WVU can make things better through teaching, research, service and economic development.

“The dream of a prosperous, healthy and progressive West Virginia cannot be deferred any longer,”he said.”To make it real, West Virginia needs all of its higher education institutionsespecially WVU as never before. And we need to get behind West Virginia as never before.”

Hardesty also encouraged WVU community members to believe in WVU as a great national institution. Indicators of greatness that he listed included the many national leaders the University has graduated; WVUs unique role as the states land-grant university and its high stature among other land-grant institutions; WVUs recent designation, shared by only 10 other institutions, as a Doctoral Research University-Extensive by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; the strength of WVUs research now bringing in $78 million in sponsored projects; and the Universitys total economic impact on West Virginia$1.3 billion, according to a 1998 study.

The full text of the presidents speech can be located at :

State of the Campus Address 2000( http://www.wvu.edu/administration/speeches/sept112000.htm )