Roderick Coutts was among the first graduates of the University of Waterloo's electrical engineering program. In 2000, Coutts (BASc '64, DEng '07) gave back to the place that gave him his start, with a $7-million donation. The large gift enhanced the University of Waterloo scholarships and bursaries, improved the Centre for Learning and Teaching Through Technology, and supported an expansion to the university's engineering lecture building, renamed the J.R. Coutts Engineering Lecture Hall in his honour.
"The basic reason for our gift to Waterloo is that my family has had a lot of good fortune over the years and the University of Waterloo had a lot to do with that," Coutts said at the time. "This is my chance to give something back."
Coutts co-founded Teklogix in 1967. It was a home-based business that became a global provider of real-time data collection and communications systems for industrial users. The company was sold in 2000 to Psion PLC, Europe's largest maker of hand-held computers.
Coutts has also supported many Waterloo students and graduates within his company. As part of his generous gift in 2002, an endowment fund of $750,000 was established to help students who want to work and study abroad.
"I have witnessed his generosity and support for many causes," says Psion Teklogix Inc. colleague Daniel Meringer. "I know he has a special fondness for the University of Waterloo and has shown it on many occasions."