Zillow Group, which houses a portfolio of the largest real estate and home-related brands on mobile and web, has committed $5 million toward the development of a second Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) building on the University of Washington’s Seattle campus.
The new building will allow the university to double the number of CSE degrees it awards each year, and reduce the number of qualified students who are turned away from the program each year.
Zillow Group’s pledge is a natural extension of its longtime partnership with UW CSE. The company’s donation will help fund construction of a new 130,000-square foot, state-of-the-art facility — slated for completion in 2019 — that will provide much-needed classroom, laboratory and collaborative spaces. One of the building’s highlights will be the “Zillow Commons,” a 3,000-square-foot event and multiuse space to be used by students, faculty and the community.
“The University of Washington’s CSE program plays a vital role in our region’s technology ecosystem and is a recognized leader in education, as well as diversity in tech,” said Zillow Group COO Amy Bohutinsky. “Having founded our company in Seattle, we have long benefited from this wealth of talent and are proud to be able to support the expansion of such an extraordinary program. As Zillow Group’s first corporate donation, our hope is that this gift will help expand the education opportunities in our state and ensure more young people have access to high quality STEM education.”
“We’re truly grateful for this gift both because of what it will mean for our students and state, and because of how it represents Zillow Group’s commitment to our region,” said UW President Ana Mari Cauce. “It’s heartening to have such tremendous support from a home-grown company. Zillow Group’s dedication to innovation and education has helped it grow as an industry leader and as a strong partner in Washington’s innovation ecosystem.”
“Students are clamoring for a CSE education, but we have to turn away roughly two-thirds of students who meet the prerequisites due to lack of space,” said Ed Lazowska, the Bill & Melinda Gates Chair in Computer Science & Engineering. “At the same time, our innovative companies are clamoring for more CSE graduates. By generously supporting our expansion, Zillow Group is laying the foundation for a brighter future for Washington’s students and our economy.”