College of Computer and Information Sciences named for Amin Khoury


Paxtyn Merten

Northeastern establishes the Khoury College of Computer and Information Sciences.

Nick Swindell, deputy campus editor

Northeastern announced on Dec. 17 the establishment of the Khoury College of Computer and Information Sciences in honor of alum Amin Khoury, who donated $50 million in support of the department’s academic endeavors.

As a result of the change, Northeastern is home to one of the first named colleges of computer and information science in the country.

Khoury, who received a master’s degree in business administration from the D’Amore-McKim School of Business in 1989, currently serves as the CEO and chairman of KLX Inc., an energy services company.

Khoury was unavailable for comment for this article.

The dean of the college, Carla Brodley, said naming a college demonstrates accomplishment.

“When a college is named, it shows that some resources have been put into the college, so the fact that your school is named signals a lot …  The [school has] come far enough that someone’s wanted to name it,” Brodley said. “The resources that it provides will help to improve the quality of your instruction, if not directly, at least indirectly.”

During a private event on Dec. 7, Khoury spoke to department faculty and staff about his inspiration for giving give the largest donation by an individual in university history, according to a university article.At the event, Khoury discussed his inspiration for donating to the college and said his vision for the future runs parallel with what the college wants to accomplish.

Ben Hescott, a professor and the associate dean of students for Khoury College, said Khoury’s donation serves the function of amplifying student opportunities on many levels.

“He’s very aware of our mission for [computer science] for everyone, and that we recognize computer science touches everything,” said Hescott. “It’s an investment in our future, and that future is really making computer science accessible for everyone.”  

In reference to the private event, Hescott added that he thinks Khoury was very impressed with where the college is headed.

“One of the things Amin talked about was being forward-thinking and future-focused,” Hescott said. “I think he saw that in our college, and it was a wonderful vote of confidence to give us such a major gift for us to be able to really help create the future and innovate.”

The establishment of more meaningful minors, dual degree programs — in which more than half of the students in the college are enrolled — and further integration of other disciplines are ways in which the college is continuing to expand.

Khoury’s donation will supplement many programs within the college at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. One such program is the Align master’s program, which seeks to help students without backgrounds in the field obtain a computer science master’s degree.

“We want to continue to grow. We want to continue to demonstrate that this is not a niche idea, but that it’s a scalable idea,” said Catherine Gill, the managing director for Align. “At the same time, we’re starting to talk to other universities and colleges across the country about how they can reconsider the role of the master’s degree to address the tech talent pipeline problem.”

Gill would also like to see the representation of graduate students become comparable to that of undergraduate students in the United States, and said that the program  wants “to see the demographics of those Align students to represent those of the undergraduate population in the U.S. … that’s 50 percent women, 25 percent underrepresented minorities.”

Gill said the donation confirms Khoury’s belief in the dean’s vision..

“When someone gives a very generous gift and puts their name on something, it means they’re proud of it and it’s a marker that they believe in the whole vision of the college,” Gill said.