Qualcomm co-founder donates $30M to UCSD

Qualcomm co-founder Franklin Antonio (Photo: David Baillot, UCSD )

SAN DIEGO — Qualcomm co-founder Franklin Antonio has donated $30 million to UC San Diego for a new engineering building, the university announced Friday.

The university plans to name the 200,000-square foot building after Antonio in recognition of his gift. Franklin Antonio Hall is currently being designed and is scheduled to open in fall 2021, according to the university.

“We are so grateful to Franklin Antonio for his incredible generosity to UC San Diego,” Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla said. “Mr. Antonio is a remarkable alumnus and visionary who has made transformational technological advances that have touched each of our lives. With this gift, he is now making a significant impact on the campus and beyond, fueling future research, collaboration and discoveries that will have a positive impact around the globe.”

Antonio graduated from UC San Diego in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in applied physics and information science. He and six others founded Qualcomm in 1985. He currently serves as  the semiconductor maker’s chief scientist, according to UC San Diego.

“It’s been fun to watch the incredible growth and evolution of UC San Diego since my graduation,” Antonio said. “I’m privileged to be a small part of it.”

The new building will provide the Jacobs School with much-needed space to accommodate its growth.

The school in the last four years his hired more than 75 professors and increased its graduate student population over 30 percent to 2,272, according to the school.

When complete, Antonio Hall will house about 25 percent of the engineering school’s faculty and graduate students. It will be located at the intersection of Voigt Drive and Engineer Lane.

The new building is being designed to encourage collaboration across different university departments to foster innovation, according to the school.