What happens when you have the right tools?
New connections are made.
Fostering A Transformative Learning Environment
Thomas Siebel is quick to credit his remarkable success to the University of Illinois’ nurturing environment of possibility. The founder of the multi-billion dollar enterprise, Siebel Systems, says Illinois has a special knack for guiding a student’s idealism toward an exciting career path.
“The transformative environment here provided me, as it did tens of thousands of people, tools that were second to none,” Tom says. “And most important are those resources that aren’t specific to your domain—golf courses, nuclear reactors, material science labs, and artistic venues. As a student you can find yourself, and develop expertise in anything.”
After earning his B.A. in history at the U of I, Tom’s insatiable curiosity led him to earn two master’s degrees. An entrepreneurial spirit inspired Tom to establish his own groundbreaking company. Tom’s noble philanthropic endeavors include wildlife habitat preservation and conservation, support of the homeless and the state-of-the-art Thomas M. Siebel Center for Computer Science, a cornerstone of cutting-edge innovation here at the U of I.
Tom believes the same transformative environment he found at Illinois will inspire future generations of students as they tackle the critical challenges that lie ahead. “The work that has been done and the work that will be done will make the world a better place.”
“Illinois is a miraculous place. It’s a humbling moment to play a role going forward. But there’s a lot of work to be done in the next few decades: technology, bioengineering, energy, and gerontology. To be second-to-none, to be world class, we need even more resources in place by 2010. It’s our chance to participate in the future of this great institution. It is simply the right thing to do.”