Dean's Office

Bill Gates @ Howard University
James H. Johnson, Jr., Ph.D., P.E., DEE
Dean, College of Engineering, Architecture and Computer Sciences
Professor of Civil Engineering
Howard University
See also by James H. Johnson, Jr.


It is an honor to welcome Bill Gates to our campus on Friday, October 14, 2005. During his visit, Mr. Gates will demonstrate cutting-edge technology and speak on "The Impact and Opportunity of Technology: Why Computer Science? Why Now? "

The visit to Howard wraps up the second year Mr. Gates has conducted a three-day national college tour where he sits down with students from some of the best computer science and engineering departments in the U.S. and Canada. In addition to Howard, the tours have included: The University of Michigan; the University of Wisconsin, Madison; the University of Waterloo, Ontario; the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard and Princeton universities.

This is Mr. Gates ' second visit to the Howard University campus. His first visit was in 1989 as the result of an invitation of then electrical engineering junior student Mitchell Duncan who interned at Microsoft that summer. In late October 1988 , Mitch received a message from Mr. Gates' office advising him that Mr. Gates would be in the Washington, D .C . , area and would like to take Mitch up on his offer.

The event was hosted by the IEEE Student Association; Mitch, now a senior, was President and Professor Gary Harris was the faculty advisor. The visit included a short afternoon of activities which included Mr. Gates address ing students from engineering and business, and faculty primarily from the engineering departments. Dr. M. Lucius Walker, then dean of the School of Engineering , hosted a luncheon for Mr. Gates and a small group that included Mitch Duncan; Dr. Gary Harris; Dr. Don Coleman, then Chair of the Department of Systems and Computer Science; and the late Mr. Will Craven, one of the earliest architects of the college's computer science curriculum.

Mr. Mitchell Duncan has enjoyed a fruitful career at Microsoft and is now principal accounts manager for the corporation. The Microsoft-Howard partnership thus began as a relatively modest and spontaneous initiative of a few inspired students and faculty , and has now blossomed into a relationship of considerably substance. The University Career Service s Office reported recently that in the period 2003-2004, the Microsoft Corporation hired more students from Howard University -19 -than from any other institution of higher learning in the nation.

Thank you, Mr. Gates for again honoring our campus with your presence and congratulations on your outstanding business and humanitarian accomplishments.

James H. Johnson, Jr.
Dean , College of Engineering, Architecture and Computer Sciences

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