Friday March 31, 2000
Technique - The South's Liveliest College NewspaperNews
 

REAL NEWS: Young entrepreneur donates $15 million to College of Computing

By Jennifer Dykes News Editor

Twenty-six year old Christopher Klaus donated 15 million dollars to Tech to help build an advanced computing complex to be named after him. The donation, the fifth-largest in Tech history, is pending approval by the Board of Regents.

Klaus made money in his start-up company Internet Security Systems, ISS. It is now worth $5.1 billion.

The company sells software aimed at protecting networks from intruders. The company works for 21 of the 25 largest US commercial banks, several large telecommunications companies, and dozens of government agencies, including the Pentagon.

He left Tech before receiving his degree in the mid 1990‘s to focus on the company, which he started in his dorm room.

The donation is “the largest single outright gift while living that Georgia Tech has ever received,” said Elizabeth Campbell, Tech spokeswoman.

The plans call for a $50 million dollar building and design will start later this year, with construction beginning in next year.

Klaus does not meet the profile of the typical donor, who is usually a man over 65 and thinking about a legacy to leave behind.

While Klaus did not receive his degree while at Tech, he is a free part-time instructor for the College of Computing.

“I’ve always been a big believer in education as a driver in helping the economy and helping society as a whole,” Klaus said.

Other top donations in Tech history include over $25 million from Lettie Pate Evens and similar amounts from George W. and Irene K. Woodruff, and Mrs. Lee Candler. Candler’s donation to the Athletic Association came in the past year. These gifts were mostly from their estates, according to Campbell. Thomas Dupree, Jr. has also pledged over $25 million.