Archive for Thursday, January 30, 2014

Garmin co-founder gives $1 million to KU engineering school

January 30, 2014

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One of the co-founders of GPS technology company Garmin has given $1 million to the Kansas University School of Engineering, KU announced today.

The gift from Min Kao, executive chairman and co-founder of Olathe-based Garmin Ltd., will establish new scholarships for engineering students and create the Min Kao Engineering Design Studios.

The school will fashion the studio by refurbishing three rooms in Eaton Hall, turning them into a high-tech workspace for student capstone projects, said engineering school dean Michael Branicky. Students will also have the opportunity to work with Garmin engineers on projects related to Garmin's business.

Half of Kao's gift will go toward the new Garmin Excellence Scholarship, which will be given to KU sophomores in electrical engineering and computer science based on high academic achievement, Branicky said.

Kao designed the GPS software that Garmin's original product line of navigation devices was based on. He received a bachelor's in electrical engineering from National Taiwan University and a doctorate from the University of Tennessee. Kao has previously given more than $500,00 to KU for scholarships.

The $1 million came through the Kao Family Foundation and will be managed by the Kansas University Endowment Association.

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