Even though he was a dropout from the University of Maryland, Brendan Iribe, cofounder and CEO of Oculus VR, wants to give back and in a big way. It was just announced that he will donate a whopping $31 million to the University for the building of a virtual lab.Iribe dropped out of school his freshman year in exchange for an entrepreneurial journey.
Just like fellow dropout and purchaser of Oanculus, Mark Zuckerberg, Iribe choose to go in the direction of philanthropy. His first venture will consist of donating money to build the on-campus “Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science Innovation”.
According to TechCruch, the lab will be used to house several things to include artificial intelligence, computer vision, virtual reality, robotics, and augmented reality. Iribe strongly believes the virtual reality industry will be taken by storm and that with the new UMD lab, students and engineers will be inspired to join the industry, helping to difficult problems of the future.
With this lab, groundbreaking research will have needed support and make it possible for students to learn in special classrooms designed to cultivate active, interactive, and collaborative learning. Iribe believes that students interested in the virtual reality industry will be encouraged to enter the world of technology using skills gained with hands-on training.
In addition to the $31 million donation for the lab, Iribe will set up a $1 million scholarship fund in honor of and named for cofounder of Oculus, Andrew Scott Reiss, who sadly died in a 2013 police chase.
Iribe’s philanthropic endeavor is impressive enough but there are reports that his mother, Elizabeth, is also giving to the University of Maryland by donating $3 million to create two endowed chairs for the new science department. In addition, a $4 million donation is coming from cofounder and chief software architect of Oculus, Michael Antonov, with $3.5 going toward construction and $500,000 to fund scholarships.
Computer science has been one of Antonov’s lifetime passions, something fueled by his experience while attending UMD. He says he hopes his monetary gift will help students all over the world with necessary facilities and class resources specific to computer science and dream that his gift will allow students to achieve what seems impossible.
As a huge supporter of education, Iribe wants to give back to a public and state school. It was while on tour of the College Park campus that everything changed. After passing the old computer science building, he thought it looked uninspiring and depressing. That revelation, coupled with his wealth, pushed Iribe to make the decision of doing something about the problem.