The California NanoSystems Institute at UCSB received $12.5 million from Virgil Elings and Betty Elings Wells, the largest gift that has been given to The Campaign for UCSB, which is looking to raise $500 million for the future of the university. The contribution brings the total amount raised by the campaign to $415 million.
The new building which houses the CNSI will be named in honor of Virgil Elings. “UCSB is sincerely grateful to Virgil and Betty for their extraordinary generosity. We are pleased to have our building for the California NanoSystems Institute bear the Elings name,” UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang said in a statement. “Virgil and Betty’s vision for our campus began over 40 years ago, with their shared goals of scholarship and innovation in scientific and business pursuits.”
Virgil Elings, who now lives in Santa Ynez and was a UCSB professor of physics for 20 years, did research which led to the scientific revolution at the nanoscale. He and his former wife, Betty Elings Wells, co-founded Digital Instruments, one of the first companies to explore nanoscience and nanotechnology. Wells now lives in Goleta.