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Perspectives

College’s New Name Honors WSU Champion

September 18, 2014

Among Washington State University’s greatest assets are our alumni and friends and their undying love for this institution. Their support manifests in a myriad of ways – student recruitment, event attendance, career placement, and, of course, philanthropic giving.

This week some of our university’s greatest supporters are meeting in Pullman to celebrate our accomplishments in private giving. As you may know, we are quickly closing in on successful completion of our $1 billion Campaign for Washington State University. The WSU Foundation’s Board of Governors and Board of Trustees are in town for the annual Foundation gala. There is no doubt that this institution would not be as successful as it is without the hard work, energy, and commitment of these dedicated and generous individuals.

Among those institutional champions is a man who personifies the idea of “giving back.”

Gene Voiland earned his degree in chemical engineering from WSU in 1969. After nearly 30 years with Shell Oil Company, he became president and CEO of CalResources LLC and Aera Energy LLC, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil. He currently serves as principal of Voiland Enterprises, is chair of the board of Valley Republic Bank in California, and continues to be a sought-after consultant to the oil industry.

Gene and his wife Linda have been active supporters of WSU and the College of Engineering and Architecture for many years. Gene Voiland led the Investment Committee for the WSU Foundation. He is a member of the Foundation’s Board of Governors. He serves on advisory boards for the college as well as for the Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering.

The Gene and Linda Voiland Endowment Fund provides support for scholarship for chemical engineering students, laboratories, and other needs in the Voiland School.

In 2008, the couple made a multi-million-dollar commitment to transform the Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering into one of the nation’s best programs and to attract top faculty.

Time and time again, Gene and Linda have invested their own resources in Washington State University but, more specifically, to support students. Their generosity has made a difference in the lives of many.

The Board of Regents voted last May to rename the College of Engineering and Architecture the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture to honor Gene and Linda for all that they have done for our university. The celebration begins at 5:30 this evening on the lawn in front of Carpenter Hall on the Pullman campus. Please join me in thanking and honoring these Cougar champions.