Eric Schmidt, son of an economics professor at Tech, grew up in Blacksburg. He didn’t go to Tech though, choosing to study engineering at Princeton and then get a masters and doctorate from the University of California.
After a stint at Sun Microsystems, Schmidt became chairman and chief executive officer at Google, the Internet search engine giant.
But he remembers Blacksburg and dropped a cool $2 million grant on Tech’s College of Engineering this week. The grant establishes the Paul and Dorothea Torgersen Dean’s Chair in Engineering, Torgersen was dean of the College of Engineering when young Schmidt used to mow his lawn. He also served as Tech’s President from 1993-2000.
“The idea that Eric Schmidt would think so much of Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering, when he did not obtain his degree here, is overwhelming,” Engineering Dean Richard Benson told the Roanoke Times.