Carnegie Mellon University

October 14, 2019

Dear Members of the CMU Community,

I am thrilled to announce a transformational gift from alumnus Bill Strecker and his wife, Nancy, to endow the dean's chair in the College of Engineering. This $15 million commitment will provide critical funds for the dean to invest in strategic priorities that advance the college’s educational and research initiatives. In recognition of this extraordinary gift, the university will establish the Dr. William D. and Nancy W. Strecker Dean's Chair of the College of Engineering. The inaugural chair holder will be William H. Sanders, whom we announced as the college’s new dean last month. Dr. Sanders will assume his duties as dean on January 1, 2020.

Bill Strecker is a triple alumnus of the college’s electrical engineering program, earning bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 1966, 1967 and 1971. Both Bill and Nancy had extensive careers with Digital Equipment Corporation. Bill served in a variety of roles over nearly three decades, including senior vice president of engineering, chief technology officer and senior vice president of corporate strategy. He has noted that perhaps his most satisfying role was leading the development of the highly successful VAX computer architecture, and he has earned 16 patents for his breakthrough engineering designs. A mathematician by background, Nancy built and led an award-winning worldwide corporate sales team and DEC’s global pharmaceutical industry business unit, before ultimately retiring as vice president of global customer programs.

Later, Bill served as senior vice president of technology and corporate development at Compaq Computer Corporation and venture capital partner at Flagship Ventures. He concluded his career as chief technology officer and executive vice president at In-Q-Tel, a nonprofit working with startups to provide technology to the U.S. intelligence community.

Bill has been honored as a member of the National Academy of Engineering; a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery; a lifetime member of the IEEE, earning its prestigious McDowell Award; and as a recipient of CMU’s Alumni Achievement Award.

Bill and Nancy’s generosity to Carnegie Mellon has extended for decades. In 2013, the couple established the Dr. William D. and Nancy W. Strecker Early Career Professorship in electrical and computer engineering at CMU to support talented junior faculty members as they develop into leaders with world-class engineering expertise.

The College of Engineering is the world leader in innovation and research to find solutions to critical global challenges, and in the education and development of engineers who will be pioneers in their fields. Bill and Nancy’s gift will provide Dean Sanders and his successors with the resources to make investments that advance the college’s important mission. We are grateful for their remarkable generosity.

The university will host a ceremony to install Bill Sanders as dean and to celebrate Bill and Nancy’s exceptional gift in spring 2020.

Please join me in congratulating the College of Engineering community, and in thanking Bill and Nancy for their continuing generosity.

Warm regards,

Farnam Jahanian
Henry L. Hillman Chair