Arthur W. Zafiropoulo, founder, CEO, and chairman of Ultra­tech, Inc., has pro­vided a $2.5 mil­lion gift to estab­lish a new endowed fac­ulty chair in the Col­lege of Engi­neering at North­eastern University.

The fun­da­mental strength of a research uni­ver­sity begins with recruiting and retaining pro­fes­sors who are ded­i­cated to trans­forming the lives of stu­dents through teaching and research,” said Zafiropoulo, whose Sil­icon Valley-​​based com­pany develops, man­u­fac­tures and mar­kets pho­tolith­o­g­raphy and laser thermal processing.

I think it’s impor­tant that North­eastern have the resources it needs to attract the best under­grad­uate, grad­uate and PhD stu­dents. That begins with attracting the best fac­ulty,” he said. “The future of indi­vidual lives, and the future of our nation, depends on quality education.”

Although Zafiropoulo has resided in Cal­i­fornia for the past 20 years, he was raised in a suburb of Boston in a working-​​class family and attended Northeastern’s Col­lege of Engi­neering in the early 1960s.

My family’s income level lim­ited the scope of things I could do edu­ca­tion­ally,” he said, adding that it was his modest upbringing that first empow­ered him to sup­port causes to ben­efit young people. His cur­rent phil­an­thropy also sup­ports orga­ni­za­tions such as the Ronald McDonald House in Sil­icon Valley.

Today I give back for the many rewards I’ve received in my life,” said Zafiropoulo, who is director emer­itus for Semi­con­ductor Equip­ment and Mate­rials Inter­na­tional, a global trade asso­ci­a­tion rep­re­senting the semi­con­ductor, flat-​​panel dis­play equip­ment and mate­rials industry. He is also founder and owner of the suc­cessful Fer­rari deal­er­ship of Sil­icon Valley, one of the largest in North America.

The Art Zafiropoulo Endowed Chair in Engi­neering Fund will directly sup­port the work of an engi­neering fac­ulty member in the Col­lege of Engineering.

Art is a visionary phil­an­thropist and friend. By endowing a chair, he is ensuring the Col­lege of Engi­neering con­tinues to have a pos­i­tive impact on society over many gen­er­a­tions, in per­pe­tuity. That is the ulti­mate gift a uni­ver­sity can receive,” said Joseph Aoun, pres­i­dent of North­eastern University.

Endowed chairs and pro­fes­sor­ships are among the highest recog­ni­tion that an insti­tu­tion of higher edu­ca­tion can bestow on its fac­ulty, and among the most pow­erful tools North­eastern has for recruiting and retaining top fac­ulty. Donors like Zafiropoulo who estab­lish an endowed chair create a lasting legacy that links their name to excel­lence in research and teaching in per­pe­tuity. Endowed chairs are reserved for dis­tin­guished scholars and teachers and pro­vide funds to the chair holder in sup­port of his or her teaching, research and service.

David Luzzi, dean of the Col­lege of Engineering—who part­ners with Zafiropoulo on the college’s West Coast Dean’s Advi­sory Council—said, “This is a trans­for­ma­tive and cat­alytic gift for the Col­lege of Engi­neering. Already other alumni and friends are step­ping for­ward and sup­porting our fac­ulty because they respect Art and are inspired by his invest­ment in our shared vision to embrace edu­ca­tion as a means to better our society.”

Zafiropoulo said, “This gift is a small step toward making a large impact. I hope others will take that step with me.”