David and Joan Henle
Honoring the memory of loved ones
From M, winter 2004
There are many reasons for giving to the University of Minnesota: making a difference, feeling grateful, helping students, assisting faculty, nurturing research. When gifts are generous enough to endow scholarships, fellowships, professorships, or chairs, donors can further enhance their legacies by naming the funds for themselves or in honor of loved ones. In the case of David and Joan Henle, who never attended the University or lived in Minnesota, it was the latter. A gift from the Henles and their foundation has established the Robert and Marjorie Henle Chair in Electrical Engineering in the Institute of Technology. Its purpose is to attract or retain outstanding faculty members in memory of David's parents, who were both University graduates and native Minnesotans. Robert Henle was a distinguished scientist with IBM whose pioneering work in semiconductor technology led to the development of the first solid-state computing system. "My dad had a lot of passion for what he did and instilled a terrific work ethic and love of science and technology in all of his kids," says David. "Both my parents took an interest in our education and welfare, enabling me to be successful. Given what my parents did for me, I wanted to support the institution that was important to them. I have a lot of passion for supporting education and educational institutions, and Minnesota seems like a great place to make a gift."