From Borrowing Lab Space to Building Labs

By Rebecca Salner, Office of Development Communications Posted Wed, 06/04/2014 - 15:57

Christopher Seiwald understands the impact a building can have on one person’s future. At a time when access to technology was hard to come by, he spent hours as a teen in a lab at USF, borrowing time on the computers at the university where his father, Professor Emeritus Robert Seiwald, former chair of the Chemistry Department, worked.

“Though I didn’t attend USF as a college student, I spent some of the most transformative years of my life tied to USF,” he says. “The professors and people I met there I consider my biggest influences.”

As the founder and chief executive officer of Perforce Software, Seiwald credits USF with playing a key role in his career.

“I owe my success in software to the early start I got at USF, and had I not been allowed to ‘borrow’ time on the USF computer facilities while I was still in high school, I would not be where I am today,” he says.

Today, Seiwald is a donor who helped USF build the Lo Schiavo Science Center. Built with the support of more than 2,500 donors, the John Lo Schiavo, S.J. Center for Science and Innovation in August 2013 ushered in a bold new era of academic rigor at the university.

Uniting hands-on small group learning and sophisticated laboratories with the social core of a Jesuit education, Lo Schiavo Science nurtures and cultivates scientists, technologists and health care practitioners who have the skills to excel and the passion to improve the Bay Area, the nation and the world.

“The John Lo Schiavo, S.J. Center for Science and Innovation is preparing students for a lifelong career in the sciences,” says Dr. Christina Tzagrakis-Foster, associate professor of biology, and USF alumnae, Class of 1990.