THE ESTATE of Ray Dolby, one of the architects of modern sound recording, has donated £85m to Cambridge University.
The money, which represents the second biggest single donation in the university's 800-year history (Bill Gates gave them $210m in 2010, fact fans) will be used at the Cavendish Laboratory in the Department of Physics - where Dolby worked on his PhD.
American born Dolby relocated to the UK in 1957 and following his time at Cambridge formed Dolby Laboratories in 1965. After creating the basis for the Dolby technology still used today, the lab moved back to Silicon Valley.
The money will be used to create the Ray Dolby Centre as an additional facility for the Cavendish (CavIII) and fund a Ray Dolby Professorship. This is in addition to the £75m promised to revamp the Cavendish during the government 2015 spending review.
"This unparalleled gift is a fitting tribute to Ray Dolby's legacy, who changed the way the world listened - his research paved the way for an entire industry," said Cambridge Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen Toope. "A century from now, we can only speculate on which discoveries will alter the way we live our lives, and which new industries will have been born in the Cavendish Laboratory, in large part thanks to this extraordinarily generous gift."
"The Ray Dolby Centre will complete the development of the new Cavendish Laboratory. In addition to serving as a home for physics research at Cambridge, it will be a top-class facility for the nation," said Professor Andy Parker, Head of the Cavendish Laboratory. "This extremely generous gift from the Dolby family is the most significant investment in physics research in generations, and a truly transformational gift in Cambridge's history."
Dolby died in 2013 aged 80. As well as being a student of the University, he later became a Fellow of Pembroke College. µ
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