Today, the University of Washington Foster School of Business dedicated Dempsey Hall, the second phase of an expanded campus for the school. Faculty, staff, and students joined with university and Seattle area business leaders to celebrate the occasion.
The naming of the building was approved late last week by the UW Board of Regents to recognize a $10 million gift and two decades of service from alumnus Neal Dempsey and his wife, Jan.
James Jiambalvo, dean of the Foster School of Business, said the gift is a testament to the outstanding educational experience taking place at the school. “Gifts of this magnitude are always a reason to celebrate, and all the more so when the donor is such an active and passionate participant in Foster’s growth,” said Jiambalvo. “Neal is not only a distinguished alumnus and successful businessman; he’s a long-time volunteer and a fixture on campus. When someone so involved keeps giving back, it’s validation that we’re doing our job to produce the next generation of business leaders.”
The 63,000-square-foot building bearing the Dempsey name houses MBA and undergraduate program offices, the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, MBA and undergraduate career centers as well as classrooms, the dean’s office, and an executive forum. The building also serves as a connection point to PACCAR Hall, which opened in 2010, as well as the Bank of America Executive Center and the Foster Business Library.
Dempsey received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Washington in 1964. A Silicon Valley-based venture capitalist, he has partnered with entrepreneurs to build companies such as Shiva, RedBrick, Brocade, Exodus, Digital Island, Informatica and Web Logic.
The Dempseys’ philanthropy has benefited many programs and schools across the UW campus. At the Foster School of Business, the Dempseys’ focus has been, not surprisingly, entrepreneurship. Neal co-founded what is today the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and continues to support its ongoing operation. The Dempseys also endowed a faculty fellowship in entrepreneurship, an undergraduate scholarship with the same focus, a high-tech focused professorship, and MBA fellowships.
“As a venture capitalist, Neal has made a lot of great investments, but I think his greatest investment has come in the nearly $20 million he and Jan have committed to the University of Washington over the last 20 years, including this latest investment in business and entrepreneurship,” said UW President Michael Young. “Everything Neal and Jan have touched has improved with remarkable speed and great quality.”