Susan and Greg Gianforte

“We feel an obligation to give back.”

Meet Susan and Greg Gianforte, Lead Donors, Gateway Academic Center

With one of the first major gifts during The Power of Stevens, Susan and Greg Gianforte ’83 made a generous contribution towards the Gateway Academic Center, a pair of buildings that add several classrooms and labs to serve a growing enrollment and expanded research.

“My wife and I have been incredibly blessed with business success and family,” Greg said. “We feel an obligation to give back.”

Greg, whose father Frank graduated from Stevens in 1958, was a member of Delta Tau Delta, Tau Beta Pi and the Stevens Entrepreneurs Club. He played squash and worked as a resident assistant, and he followed his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering with an M.S. in the same subject in 1983.

Susan earned her undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell and graduate degrees from Cal Berkeley and NYU. She and Greg met while working together at the famed Bell Labs in Monmouth, New Jersey. They later moved to Bozeman, Montana, and started RightNow Technologies, a software company for businesses to manage their customer service operations. RightNow grew from a bootstrapped startup in 1997 to employ 1,100 workers, and in 2011 the Gianfortes sold the company to Oracle. In recognition of his success, Stevens awarded Greg an honorary doctorate in 2012.

The Gianfortes’ campaign gift, which they arranged through their family foundation, helped build the Gateway Academic Center, a pair of four-story brick buildings connected by a glass skybridge and forming a featured new entryway to campus. The north building, on the corner of Sixth and Hudson Streets in Hoboken, bears the Gianforte family name.

With 90,000 square feet, Gateway adds 11 smart classrooms, 13 advanced labs and 45 faculty offices, and houses the Department of Computer Science and various labs for the university’s emerging programs in biomedical engineering, health care and life sciences.

The Gianfortes were inspired to give soon after President Nariman Farvardin took office in 2011 and the university committed to a broad and bold strategic plan, The Future. Ours to Create.

“Stevens, over its history, has poured an incredible foundation,” Greg said. “There’s an opportunity now to build to the next level.