Oculus co-founders give $35M to University of Maryland

The $31 million from CEO Brendan Iribe is the most the University has ever received

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
September 11, 2014
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Well, now we can unequivocally say that the co-founders of Oculus have at least one thing in common with their new boss Mark Zuckerberg: they all like giving money toward education.

The University of Maryland is about to get a substantial amount of money, in the vicinity of $35 million, from two of its alumni, Oculus co-founder Brendan Iribe and Michael Antonov, according to a report from the Associated Press on Thursday.

Iribe's donation will make up the substantial portion of the money; in fact, his $31 million gift is the largest the university has ever received since it was established in 1856. The vast majority of the money will be used to build a new computer science building, called the "Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Innovation." $1 million of the gift will be used to establish the Brendan Iribe Scholarship in Computer Science.

Antonov will be giving $4 million and, if that weren't enough, Iribe’s mother, Elizabeth Iribe, is also donating another $3 million, bringing the total from all three to $38 million altogether. 

Putting money toward education will no doubt put both Iribe and Antonov in Zuckerberg's good graces, as the Facebook CEO has made education a pet project for himself.

Zuckerberg who was, along with his wife Prisicalla Chan, named the most charitable person in 2013
founded the Startup: Education foundation in Newark, New Jersey, and personally donated $100 million to the Newark public school system. In December of last year, Startup: Education, along with  Bill Gates’s The Gates Foundation, participated in a $9 million philanthropic investment in EducationSuperHighway, a non-profit aiming to help K-12 schools get connected to reliable, high-capacity Internet access.

Most recently, Zuckerberg donated $120 million to Bay Area schools. 

Facebook Oculus deal

Facebook spent a total of $2 billion on Oculus back in March. That included $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook common stock, which are valued at $1.6 billion. In addition, the agreement also provided for an additional $300 million earn-out in cash and stock based on the achievement of certain milestones.

Oculus is an immersive virtual reality technology company. Its flagship product is the Oculus Rift, a an virtual reality head-mounted display that is expected to become available in 2015. 

VatorNews has reached out to Oculus, and to the University of Maryland, for comment on the donation. We will update this story if we learn more. 

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