Garg family’s $1 million gift pushes Engineering over $150 million in campaign

Venture capitalist and alumnus Gaurav Garg and his wife, Komal Shah, have made a $1 million gift to the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis. The gift allows the school to surpass $150 million in Leading Together: The Campaign for Washington University.

Garg Family
Gaurav Garg and Komal Shah

Garg is managing partner of Wing Venture Capital in Silicon Valley, which builds early-stage business technology companies. Wing focuses on companies with the potential to define new categories in cloud computing, mobile and big data and to provide entrepreneurs with the financial and strategic backing to build successful companies. The firm invests over the life of each of its portfolio companies, which include FireEye, Jasper, Nimble Storage and Cohesity.

Garg and Shah’s $1 million gift will help fund annual undergraduate scholarships, long-range capital needs, an endowed lectureship, an annual lectureship and other school needs. The university will name the department chair’s suite in the future James M. McKelvey, Sr. Hall in recognition of the gift.

“Gaurav Garg is not only a gifted entrepreneur himself, but also a passionate adviser and investor who enables others to develop technology startup ventures,” said Aaron F. Bobick, dean and the James. M. McKelvey Professor.

“We are enormously grateful to Gaurav and Komal for their generous gift that will benefit so many in our school — from undergraduate students through scholarship to the broader community through sponsorship of lectureships and additional future projects.”

“The gift is part of my involvement and work with the university based on my San Francisco Bay-area and technology-focused perspective,” Garg said. “I am interested in helping to foster a culture of innovation, working on solutions to relevant and ambitious engineering problems, helping to generate funding for the school, finding employment for students, and contributing to building the school’s reputation. I wanted to do this in a way where I can be a good citizen.”

Garg is a member of the school’s National Council and received an Alumni Achievement Award from the school in 2014. This year, he received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the university at Founder’s Day. He was the keynote speaker at Startup Connection 2015 held at the university and was the 2014 Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist of the Year.

Prior to co-founding Wing in 2013, Garg was a partner at Sequoia Capital for 10 years investing in and working with startup companies. Prior to joining Sequoia, he founded Redback Networks in 1996, which went public in 1999.

Garg earned bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and computer science in 1988 and a master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1990 from the School of Engineering & Applied Science.

The McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis promotes independent inquiry and education with an emphasis on scientific excellence, innovation and collaboration without boundaries. McKelvey Engineering has top-ranked research and graduate programs across departments, particularly in biomedical engineering, environmental engineering and computing, and has one of the most selective undergraduate programs in the country. With 140 full-time faculty, 1,387 undergraduate students, 1,448 graduate students and 21,000 living alumni, we are working to solve some of society’s greatest challenges; to prepare students to become leaders and innovate throughout their careers; and to be a catalyst of economic development for the St. Louis region and beyond.