COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The University of Colorado Colorado Springs unveiled the Kevin W. O’Neil Cybersecurity Education and Research Center on Monday, Aug. 23 through the $3 million gift of alumnus, philanthropist, entrepreneur and Colorado Springs native Kevin O’Neil.
O’Neil’s gift cements UCCS’ status as a top cybersecurity education leader in the Pikes Peak region and expands the university’s reach into cybersecurity research. This new facility will also allow for future expansion and educational training alongside the research and development that will work with the military, industrial and educational groups.
O’Neil attended the facility’s naming ceremony alongside University of Colorado President Todd Saliman and UCCS Chancellor Venkat Reddy.
“My time at UCCS played an important part in the business success I have experienced, so it’s important to me to give back and support the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators,” said O’Neil, a 1989 graduate of UCCS’ College of Business. “UCCS has been integral to the growing national recognition of Colorado Springs as a cyber hub and I am pleased to be a part of their growth in cyber research and development.”
UCCS cybersecurity programs have obtained federal cybersecurity research grants, developed techniques, systems and tools with the broader cybersecurity community and more. UCCS has also partnered with the National Cybersecurity Center.
The College of Business is leading the university’s efforts in cybersecurity education by offering educational programming for industry certificates, bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees.
“Since the beginning of his career, Kevin has paired a passion for science and technology with a commitment to positive change for our region,” said UCCS Chancellor Venkat Reddy. “Kevin has always had a heart for UCCS and for Colorado Springs, and he is committed to seeing our region thrive.”
In 2015, O’Neil launched the Catalyst Campus in downtown Colorado Springs which allowed local small businesses, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to intersect with the aerospace and defense industry. The Catalyst Campus has generated over 1,200 jobs and over $270 million in local economic impact.