Les Vadasz, BEng’61, DSc’07, fled the Hungarian Revolution in 1957. He earned his engineering degree at McGill, then went on to an illustrious career as part of the founding management team at tech giant Intel Corp., where he oversaw the development of the world’s first commercially available microprocessor.
Now retired, Vadasz remains grateful for the opportunities that his McGill education gave him—and he’s paying that gratitude forward with a landmark $15-million gift that will deepen support for outstanding PhD students doing innovative research in McGill’s Faculty of Engineering. The gift also aims to strengthen Montreal as an engineering and technology hub by attracting more top talent to McGill.
Vadasz and his wife Judy have a remarkable legacy of supporting graduate students in McGill’s Faculty of Engineering. Their endowed gift in 2008 established the Vadasz Doctoral Fellowships in Engineering. The Fellowships have sparked huge growth in PhD enrolment (up 63% since 2005) and graduate research at McGill’s Faculty of Engineering. To date, 176 students have benefitted from the Vadasz Doctoral Fellowships
With their latest gift, the Vadasz Doctoral Fellowships in Engineering will offer greater financial support to doctoral students each year, and for a longer period—four years, which is the standard time it takes to complete a PhD in Engineering. The fellowships, which were already among the most generous in Canada, help McGill recruit top graduates who will shape the future of engineering, and enrich the Canadian workforce and economy for decades to come.
Primarily intended for Canadian citizens or permanent residents, the Vadasz Doctoral Fellowships in Engineering will now support up to 60 doctoral students at a time over a four-year cohort, including 15 new recipients each year.
“I really value the education I received at McGill, and the Fellowship program is a way of removing financial obstacles so that engineering students can focus on their graduate research and achieve their potential,” said Les Vadasz. “It reflects my gratitude to McGill and Canada for giving me the chance to study there, and also a desire to support innovative research at McGill, which helps drive progress.”