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Northeastern receives $50 million gift to further AI studies

Amin Khoury donated $50 million to his alma mater, Northeastern University.
Amin Khoury donated $50 million to his alma mater, Northeastern University. (Courtesy of Northeastern University)

An alumnus is giving $50 million to Northeastern University to boost the school’s rapidly expanding technology college, which will soon bear his name.

The university said Monday that it will name the Khoury College of Computer and Information Sciences after trustee Amin J. Khoury following the contribution, which will be endowed to support research and education at the college for years to come.

The college is the university’s fastest growing program, expanding from to 726 students in the fall of 2009 to 3,474 in 2018.

“This is exciting for the community,” Northeastern president Joseph E. Aoun said in an interview. “The purpose of this gift is to invest in the vision Amin (Khoury) has to help human beings thrive in the artificial intelligence age.”

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The additional funding fits well with the university’s Northeastern 2025 plan for higher education in the age of artificial intelligence, Aoun said. The plan aims to give students a skill set that will stay relevant as the use of artificial intelligence continues to increase across industries, by focusing on technology and data, and experiential learning and continued education.

“In the next 20 years most of the jobs we know of are going to be disappearing or changing dramatically,” Aoun said. “Therefore, we have built our whole strategic plan at Northeastern based on helping our learners, our students, become robot-proof.”

Khoury earned his master’s degree at NU in 1989. He met his wife, Julie E. Khoury, while he was a student. He has since launched successful companies from medical products to aerospace manufacturing to oil field services. In 1987, he founded B/E Aerospace Inc., which became the major global manufacturer for airline cabin interiors.

“Julie and I would like to help prepare learners for a future reality where human, data, and technological literacies will become imperative for success and leadership in a world based on innovation rather than resources,” Khoury said in a statement released by the university.

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Allison Hagan can be reached at allison.hagan@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @allisonhxgan.