The Washington State University’s Board of Regents approved renaming the college earlier this year to honor Gene and Linda Voilands’ lifetime contributions to the college, the university and society.
Activities begin at 5:30 p.m. on the lawn in front of Carpenter Hall on Spokane Street on the WSU campus. A program will begin at 6 p.m. A total of 40 student clubs will be featuring their engineering and design projects.
“The Voilands have enjoyed tremendous success and have so generously provided the opportunities for others at WSU that they once received,’’ said President Elson S. Floyd. “With the reputation for excellence behind the Voiland name, the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture aspires to provide the same support and high expectations to allow all students to truly reach their potential, succeed in their aspirations, and create a positive impact on society.
“We’re so pleased to honor them and to celebrate this important event.’’
Gene Voiland received a B.S. in chemical engineering from WSU in 1969. He worked for Shell Oil Company for nearly 30 years in a variety of positions. There, he met his wife, Linda, a graduate of the University of Houston. He later became president and CEO of CalResources LLC and Aera Energy LLC, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil. He retired in 2008.
He serves as principal of Voiland Enterprises, LLC, is chair of the board of Valley Republic Bank in Bakersfield, Calif., and continues to be a sought-after consultant to the oil industry.
The Voilands have been active supporters of WSU and the college for many years. Gene Voiland led the Investment Committee for the WSU Foundation and is a member of the foundation’s board of governors. He serves on advisory boards for the college as well as for the Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering. Linda Voiland is a loyal, adopted Cougar.
The Gene and Linda Voiland Endowment Fund has provided support for laboratories and greatest needs in the Voiland School. They also support a scholarship for chemical engineering students in the Honors College. They also helped with the upgrade and renovation of the Unit Operations Laboratory, leading the charge for matching funds, helping to get the effort organized, and making it a success.
In 2008, the couple made a significant gift to transform the Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering into one of the nation’s best programs and to attract top faculty. The school has since focused its program in the area of catalysis and has hired top researchers in the field.
Tina Hilding, communications coordinator, (509) 335-5095, email@example.com