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USC names Molinaroli College of Engineering

USC names Molinaroli College of Engineering

Engineering College

The University of South Carolina (USC) College of Engineering and Computing has been officially renamed to honor the Molinaroli family’s vision and generosity. The college will now be known as the University of South Carolina Molinaroli College of Engineering and Computing. This announcement was made on June 6, 2024, during a ceremony at the Swearingen Engineering Center on Main Street.

The Molinaroli family has strong ties to South Carolina and a legacy of commitment to USC. Seven family members have graduated from USC since the 1930s, and an eighth member will enroll this fall. The Molinarolis’ impact in engineering spans various sectors, including the Charleston Navy Yard, the South Carolina Department of Transportation, and Johnson Controls.

A remarkable $30 million investment, initiated by 1983 alumnus Alex Molinaroli and his wife, Kristin Ihle Molinaroli, will help establish the college as a leading institution for education and research in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions. This funding aims to drive South Carolina’s economic growth. USC President Michael Amiridis expressed gratitude for the Molinaroli family’s generous gift.

“With this extraordinary gift from Alex and Kristin Molinaroli, we are embarking on a new era for the College of Engineering and Computing,” Amiridis said. “Their generous commitment will empower the college to enhance its academic stature and explore its fullest potential for exceptional education, research, workforce development, and economic impact in South Carolina and beyond.”

This marks the university’s fourth academic unit to be named for a donor. The Molinaroli College joins the Darla Moore School of Business, the Arnold School of Public Health, and the Joseph F.

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Rice School of Law in this honor.

Molinaroli family honored at USC

Alex Molinaroli, a former CEO of Johnson Controls, has long been an advocate for his alma mater.

He has played a pivotal role, offering valuable insights and guidance to college leadership, with his previous contributions spurring innovation and providing opportunities for student advancement. Alex Molinaroli emphasized the significance of a USC degree. “A degree from the University of South Carolina can change your life and be an enabler to provide generational change for your family,” he said.

“It is a privilege for my family’s name to be associated with the College of Engineering and Computing as it becomes an incubator and foundation developer for the students who will be the next Fortune 100 CEOs and successful entrepreneurs.”

The Molinaroli family’s gift will support the creation of new high-demand programs, student and faculty recruitment, facility and equipment enhancements, and research start-ups. This contribution honors multiple generations of the Molinaroli family, including Alex’s father, Adrian (’51), and uncle, Remo (’34), who were first-generation engineering students at USC; his aunt, Elenora (’33); his brother, Raymond (’91), a civil engineer in the Lowcountry; and two cousins, Charles (’65) and Marion (’69). Dean Hossein Haj-Hariri expressed gratitude for the Molinarolis’ generosity.

“Their gift will enable us to enhance our educational, research, and partnership efforts to transform our state,” said Haj-Hariri. Founded in 1909, the Molinaroli College of Engineering and Computing offers high-quality education through 40 degree programs, including the state’s only aerospace, biomedical, and graduate nuclear engineering programs, as well as numerous computing and AI options. Nearly 70 percent of students are South Carolinians, and many alumni contribute their skills within the state.

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The college’s academic and research excellence continues to drive economic growth and social mobility in the Palmetto State. Leading in energy systems, advanced manufacturing, and intelligent infrastructure research, the college is expected to set a university record in fiscal year 2024 with over $70 million in sponsored awards. USC President Michael Amiridis, donors Alex and Kristin Molinaroli, Dean Hossein Haj-Hariri, and USC Board Chair Thad Westbrook officially unveiled the college’s new name during the ceremony.

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