Microservices Expo Authors: Liz McMillan, Zakia Bouachraoui, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Machine Learning

Microservices Expo: Article

SOA News: Tom Siebel Gives $100 Million Gift to University of Illinois

Grant is More than Twice the Next-Largest Gift Ever

Siebel Systems founder and former chairman Tom Siebel has reportedly given a gift worth $100 million to his alma mater, the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois. This is more than twice the size of the next-largest gift ever granted to this major public university, which has been a center of supercomputing for decades and also includes among its alums Netscape founder Mark Andreessen.

Tom Siebel (pictured below) graduated from the U. of I. in 1975, then later earned two master's degrees from this major public institution, which has more than 30,000 undergraduates and is one of the better educational institutions in a state that also includes the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and Knox College (where Bill Clinton will deliver the commencent address this year.)

"(Siebel's gift) is the most exciting thing to happen at this university in terms of philanthropy," Urbana-Champaign chancellor Richard Herman reportedly said. "It's a gift of passion, one that will mean transformation for us." Siebel's gift is more than twice the size of the next-largest gift ever granted to the university, and is three times larger than a previous gift of $32 million that he provided earlier to fund a new computer science building.

The university spends more than half a billion dollars each year on research in various scientific fields.

Siebel rose through the ranks as a sales-oriented executive with Oracle, before leaving in the 1990s to form his eponymous company. It grew rapidly, making key acquisitions and riding the crest of the dot-com boom while establishing itself as the premier vendor of customer relationship management (CRM) software. Tom Siebel became a billionaire as the company grew, even as its highly aggressive culture resulted in a number of unfavorable customer survey results conduced by independent analysts and as the company increasingly ventured into the crosshairs of Siebel's former employer Oracle.

Siebel Systems became valued well in excess of $50 billion during the height of the dot-com boom, before crashing back to earth in the 2000-2002 period along with almost every other technology company. Oracle founder and chairman Larry Ellison (another Illinois native coincidentally) finally led his company to an acquisition of Siebel in late 2005 for around $5.8 billion in cash and securities.

Despite naming his company after himself--and his and his former company's reputation for aggressive sales and leadership--Tom Siebel has kept a relatively low profile throughout the years. He made the gossip columns in the San Francisco Bay Area in the recent past when it was reported that he rented an entire luxury hotel in Mexico as part of his wife's 40th birthday celebration.

But he offered no comment on that, and his public speaking manner has consistently been one of delivering straightforward, slightly pointed remarks about the success his company was having with its customers. He did not have the reputation of delivering highly provocative, sweeping statements along the lines of his former boss Ellison or another high-profile ex-Oracle exec, salesforce.com's Marc Benioff. His nine-figure gift to the University of Illinois appears to remain in that tradition--grand thinking but in an understated manner, at least by the standards of the technology industry.

More Stories By SOA News Desk

SOA World Magazine News Desk trawls the world of distributed computing and SOA-related developments for the latest word on technologies, standards, products, and services and brings key information to you in a timely and convenient summary form.

Comments (1)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

Microservices Articles
The now mainstream platform changes stemming from the first Internet boom brought many changes but didn’t really change the basic relationship between servers and the applications running on them. In fact, that was sort of the point. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Gordon Haff, senior cloud strategy marketing and evangelism manager at Red Hat, will discuss how today’s workloads require a new model and a new platform for development and execution. The platform must handle a wide range of rec...
When building large, cloud-based applications that operate at a high scale, it’s important to maintain a high availability and resilience to failures. In order to do that, you must be tolerant of failures, even in light of failures in other areas of your application. “Fly two mistakes high” is an old adage in the radio control airplane hobby. It means, fly high enough so that if you make a mistake, you can continue flying with room to still make mistakes. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee A...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Lori MacVittie is a subject matter expert on emerging technology responsible for outbound evangelism across F5's entire product suite. MacVittie has extensive development and technical architecture experience in both high-tech and enterprise organizations, in addition to network and systems administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning technology editor at Network Computing Magazine where she evaluated and tested application-focused technologies including app secu...
Containers and Kubernetes allow for code portability across on-premise VMs, bare metal, or multiple cloud provider environments. Yet, despite this portability promise, developers may include configuration and application definitions that constrain or even eliminate application portability. In this session we'll describe best practices for "configuration as code" in a Kubernetes environment. We will demonstrate how a properly constructed containerized app can be deployed to both Amazon and Azure ...
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
Using new techniques of information modeling, indexing, and processing, new cloud-based systems can support cloud-based workloads previously not possible for high-throughput insurance, banking, and case-based applications. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, John Newton, CTO, Founder and Chairman of Alfresco, described how to scale cloud-based content management repositories to store, manage, and retrieve billions of documents and related information with fast and linear scalability. He addresse...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true ...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...