December 04, 2006

University trustee establishes $500K endowment at Case school of engineering

Joseph P. and Nancy F. Keithley Endowed Fellowship will support future leaders in electrical engineering and computer science

Joseph P. and Nancy F. Keithley
with Norman Tien

A gift from Case Western Reserve University trustee and Cleveland business leader, Joseph P. Keithley, and his wife, Nancy, will help the Case School of Engineering recruit the best and brightest electrical engineering and computer science students from around the world and bring them to Northeast Ohio.

The bulk of the $500,000 gift will establish the Joseph P. and Nancy F. Keithley Endowed Fellowship Fund, which will be used to recruit and retain outstanding graduate students who demonstrate exceptional promise in the areas of electrical engineering and computer science (EECS). An additional $100,000 has been earmarked as discretionary support for ongoing programs in Case's EECS department.

"Case has a proud tradition of producing graduates who go on to become leaders in business, academia, and technology," Joseph P. Keithley said. "We want to help ensure that tradition continues for the next generation and beyond."

Joseph P. Keithley, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer of Cleveland-based Keithley Instruments, Inc., has long been a supporter of Case, both financially and through his work as a member of the university's Board of Trustees and the Case School of Engineering Dean's Advisory Council. Nancy F. Keithley is actively involved in a variety of civic organizations, including being a current trustee of the Cleveland Orchestra, the Cleveland Museum of Art, founding trustee of Cleveland Public Art, and a contributor and supporter of the Cleveland Restoration Society.

The partnership between Case Western Reserve University and Keithley Instruments, Inc., dates back more than half a century. Keithley currently employs more than 30 Case alumni. The most senior of these Case alumni is John Yeager, the company's first full-time employee, who joined Keithley in 1950 and is still working there today. Keithley regularly offers Case students co-operative work/study internships, and many Keithley employees continue their graduate-level education at Case. Keithley test-and-measurement equipment is used extensively in Case's electrical engineering labs, including both purchased instrumentation and equipment donated by Keithley.

According to Norman Tien, Nord Professor of Engineering and chair of EECS at Case, premier research universities are in stiff competition for top doctoral students. Fellowships, like those provided by the Keithleys' gift, increase Case's ability to compete at the highest level.

Case School of Engineering Dean Robert F. Savinell believes the gift benefits not only EECS at Case, but the entire university and beyond. "With the expansion in information technology and communications that surrounds us, EECS is a fundamental part of the modern university," Savinell said. "The work of EECS researchers impacts all other areas of engineering, medicine, science and business."

"Joe and Nancy understand that keeping Case at the forefront of these fields means a stronger university and a stronger Northeast Ohio economy," Savinell added.

The Keithleys previously have donated funds to support the development of the Case Business Launch Competition in The Institute for Management and Engineering (TiME.) This important launch competition took technologies developed in Northeast Ohio from early-stage venture to the next level of commercialization. The track record of the launch competition has been extraordinary, with 90 percent of the winners still in business. Past winners include AeroClay, Arteriocyte, Interventional Imaging, NDI Medical, NeoMED Technologies, Inc., and Game Communication, LLC, a company founded and run by a Case undergraduate student.

About the Case School of Engineering

Providing unparalleled engineering education and research for 125 years, the Case School of Engineering is committed to "Engineering…Plus": education beyond the classroom, research across disciplines and relationships around the world. Wherever they go, Case faculty, students and alumni consistently lead their fields and have a beneficial impact on society.

About Keithley Instruments, Inc.

With 60 years of measurement expertise, Keithley Instruments has become a world leader in advanced electrical test instruments and systems from DC to RF (radio frequency). Its products solve emerging measurement needs in production testing, process monitoring, product development and research. The company's customers are scientists and engineers in the worldwide electronics industry involved with advanced materials research, semiconductor device and wafer characterization and functional test, and the production of end products such as electronic assemblies or portable wireless devices. The value Keithley provides its customers is a combination of precision measurement technology and a rich understanding of their applications to improve the quality, throughput and yield of their products.

Posted by: Heidi Cool, December 4, 2006 11:19 AM | News Topics: Alumni, HeadlinesMain, Philanthropy, Provost Initiatives, Students, Technology, Trustees

Case Western Reserve University is committed to the free exchange of ideas, reasoned debate and intellectual dialogue. Speakers and scholars with a diversity of opinions and perspectives are invited to the campus to provide the community with important points of view, some of which may be deemed controversial. The views and opinions of those invited to speak on the campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.