SCIENCE / TECHNOLOGY : AST Research Gives $1-Million Donation to UC Irvine Campus

Compiled by David Olmos / Times staff writer

AST Research Inc. has made a $1-million donation of computer equipment and construction funds to UC Irvine, the second-largest, one-time corporate donation ever received by UCI.

The Irvine computer maker said it will donate $900,000 in computer equipment during the next four years to UCI for use by various academic departments. The equipment includes 300 personal computers and related equipment.

AST has also donated $100,000 to UCI's Rockwell Engineering Center, a $4.2-million facility under construction and scheduled for completion in January, 1990. The money will be used to build a computing facility to be named the AST Research Laboratory.

UCI Chancellor Jack W. Peltason said the AST pledge will nearly complete the university's efforts to raise $2.2 million in private money for the engineering center.

The donation will also "fill the desktops of laboratories and classrooms campus-wide with some of the most advanced personal computers and equipment available," Peltason said. "The equipment will significantly enhance our research and instruction programs for graduate students, undergraduates and faculty."

Thomas Yuen, AST's chief operating officer and a UCI graduate, said the donation was made to help establish closer ties between AST and the university. "It is our firm belief that a close and ongoing relationship with a major teaching and research institution is not an option, it is a necessity," Yuen said.

The single largest donation ever received by UCI was a $1.1-million pledge from the FHP Foundation in 1986.

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