UM engineering school gets $30 million gift


The University of Maryland, College Park plans to announce today a gift of $30 million to support new initiatives in biomedical engineering at the university's A. James Clark School of Engineering.

The gift, from medical device inventor and UM alumnus Robert Fischell, will establish the Fischell Department of Bioengineering and the Fischell Institute for Biomedical Devices, both within the Clark School. Fischell's three sons are together giving an additional $1 million.

"The finest goal that engineering can achieve is to improve the quality of life for people throughout the world," Fischell said in a statement. The gift "will help engineering students develop their ideas to improve health care for millions of human beings."

Fischell is described as the father of the modern medical stent and the insulin pump. He holds more than 200 patents and, with sons David, Tim and Scott, has formed more than a half-dozen companies to develop his medical devices.

Nariman Farvardin, dean of the Clark School, said the biomedical initiatives at UM will provide new research and educational opportunities in health care and assemble top faculty and students, as well as partners in government and industry to advance the field and expand economic development in Maryland.

It's the third time this year that the university has received a $30 million gift from a successful member of the university's Class of 1950. The first was from A. James Clark, chairman and CEO of Clark Enterprises, an international construction firm, who also endowed the Clark School with a $15 million gift in 1994.

The second was from Robert H. Smith, a developer and president of the Smith Cos., who earlier also gave UM's Smith School of Business $15 million.

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