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$1 Million Gift to Support Growth in Engineering Education


November 2, 2006President Michael K. Young and Senior Vice President David W. Pershing announced today that John E. and Marva M. Warnock have gifted 30,000 shares of Adobe stock to the University of Utah for the renovation of the 60,000 sq. ft. Engineering and Mines Classroom Building. The stock, currently valued at over $1.1 million, is in addition to the Warnocks’ $6 million gift in 2003 toward the construction of a new engineering building scheduled to open in February 2007. The 20-year-old Engineering and Mines Classroom Building (EMCB) serves as the foundation for the classroom portion of the new engineering building. With five auditoriums, seven classrooms and computer labs, EMCB serves more than 5,000 students each semester. The Warnocks’ gift will provide the new furnishings, audio-visual equipment, modern controls and other improvements needed to bring the building up to date. In recognition of their total support, the entire 160,000 sq. ft. structure, which encompasses both the new and existing buildings, will be designated “The John E. and Marva M. Warnock Engineering Building.” In the past, the Warnocks have also created Presidential Endowed Chairs in the College of Engineering and the College of Science.


“We are extremely grateful to John and Marva for their generous donation. Such extraordinary support has been an important factor in the growth and development of the college. Since 1999, the College of Engineering has increased the number of degrees awarded by more than 60 percent,” said President Michael Young. According to Senior Vice President David Pershing, “The renovation and renaming of the Engineering and Mines Classroom Building will benefit not just engineering but all of campus. John and Marva are helping to create amazing instructional space for students and faculty.”


For the past five years, the College of Engineering has been leading the statewide Engineering Initiative to increase the number of engineering and computer science graduates. Growth rates at the college have been twice the national average thanks to the infusion of ongoing and one-time funds. According to Dean of Engineering Richard B. Brown, “The completion of the John E. and Marva M. Warnock Engineering Building is a crucial step in adding capacity to the college.”


Marva Warnock is a designer and partner with Marsh Design in Palo Alto. She serves on the National Leadership Council for the Utah Museum of Fine Arts at the University of Utah. John Warnock is co-chairman of the Board of Directors of Adobe Systems, Inc., a company he co-founded in 1982 with Charles Geschke. Dr. Warnock was President of Adobe for his first two years and Chairman and CEO for his remaining 16 years at Adobe. Warnock has pioneered the development of world-renowned graphics, publishing, Web and electronic document technologies that have revolutionized the field of publishing and visual communication. Dr. Warnock holds six patents.


Warnock’s entrepreneurial success has been chronicled by some of the country’s most influential business and computer industry publications, and he has received numerous awards for technical and managerial achievement. A partial list of awards includes: Entrepreneur of the Year from Ernst & Young, Merrill Lynch, and Inc. Magazine; University of Utah Distinguished Alumnus Award; Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Software Systems Award; Award for Technical Excellence from the National Graphics Association; and the first Rhode Island School of Design Distinguished Service to Art and Design International Award. Dr. Warnock also has also received the Edwin H. Land Award from the Optical Society of America, the Bodleian Medal from Oxford University, and the Lovelace Medal from the British Computer Society. Warnock is a distinguished member of the National Academy of Engineering, and has received honorary degrees from the University of Utah and the American Film Institute.


Warnock has been a member of the board of directors of Adobe Systems Inc., Knight-Ridder, Octavo Corporation, Ebrary Inc., Mongonet Inc., Netscape Communications, and Salon Media Group. He is past Chairman of the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the American Film Institute, and is on the Board of the Sundance Institute.


Before co-founding Adobe Systems, Warnock was principal scientist at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). Prior to joining Xerox, Warnock held key positions at Evans & Sutherland Computer Corporation, Computer Sciences Corporation, IBM, and the University of Utah.


Warnock holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mathematics and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering all from the University of Utah. Marva holds a B.S. in sociology from the University of Utah.