A $25 million gift from the Leinweber Foundation, founded by software entrepreneur Larry Leinweber, will help fund the new Leinweber Computer and Information Science Building, a 163,000 square foot state of the art facility on the university’s North Campus.
This gift will bring the Computer Science and Engineering Division of Michigan Engineering and the School of Information together under one roof at U-M for the first time, strengthening the collaboration between the two disciplines to develop breakthrough technologies, conduct innovative research, and facilitate an innovative learning environment for students.
Michigan has a longstanding reputation as one of the leaders and best in computer science and information. We hope this new gift will further advance both of these fields and amplify U-M’s impact by bringing some of the brightest minds in engineering and information science together in one collaborative setting.– Larry Leinweber
“Co-location is essential to seed and sustain high impact interdisciplinary work,” said Thomas Finholt, dean of the School of Information. “By joining faculty and students from multiple disciplinary backgrounds in one place, we will accelerate, enrich, and increase the boundary-spanning interactions that produce innovative paths of research. Thanks to the gift from the Leinweber Foundation, we’ll be better able to solve the problems of the future by combining insights across disciplines in new ways.”
The Leinweber Building will remove barriers between like-minded colleagues and strengthen the academic culture.
“Technology is becoming more dependent on information—our products are getting smarter and require programming that is human-focused and free from bias,” said Alec Gallimore, the Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering. “By bringing these important fields into collaboration, this incredible investment from the Leinweber Foundation will help Michigan remain not only a topflight university, but one that draws upon a range of disciplines and perspectives to ensure that the innovation closes societal gaps and has a positive impact on all populations.”
About the donors
Since 2010, Larry Leinweber and his wife Claudia Babiarz have supported students and programs at U-M, including in Michigan Engineering, the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA), the Medical School, and the Stephen M. Ross School of Business. They created the Leinweber Software Scholars Program at Michigan Engineering in 2013, and established the Leinweber Center for Theoretical Physics in LSA in 2017.
Leinweber founded and served as CEO of New World Systems Corporation in Troy, Michigan, a software company providing enterprise resource planning software for city and county governments, with a primary focus on public safety software for 911 dispatch centers, law enforcement, fire departments, and paramedics. Babiarz served as corporate counsel at New World Systems for over 27 years.
Leinweber and Babiarz have two children, David Leinweber (U-M MBA) and Ashley Leinweber (U-M MBA). Ashley serves as vice president of the Leinweber Foundation. David serves on the advisory board for CSE in Michigan Engineering and is the CEO of Ascent Cloud, a Detroit-based sales technology software company. David’s wife, Jessica Leinweber (U-M BA and JD), serves as executive director of the Leinweber Foundation. Larry’s other three children, Eric, Danica, and Lezlee, also contribute to his work.