University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations
May 3, 2010
Contact: Jennifer Z. Ekman, USA Public Relations, (251) 460-6360

USA Professor Pledges Gift to Shelby Hall


University of South Alabama School of Computer and Information Sciences Professor and former Dean Dr. David Feinstein and his wife, Wei, recently pledged $10,000 for naming rights to the ACM Student Society Gathering Room within the Shelby Hall -- Engineering and Computing Sciences Building. 

A special inscribed donor recognition and appreciation plaque will be placed outside the ACM Student Society room to recognize the investment of Dr. and Mrs. Feinstein.  In addition, their names will be inscribed on a plaque for the school’s Honor Wall of Donors, to be located in the atrium of Shelby Hall.    

This gift supports the Computing Excellence Fund, an endowed fund created to help the School of Computer and Information Sciences’ pursuit of academic excellence.  This endowment allows the school’s dean to continually assess its priorities and goals, and direct funding to special areas of opportunity and/or concern. 

As a part of the Shelby Hall Room-Naming Campaign, this gift will receive a $5,000 match from the University. 

This is one of three pledges by Dr. Feinstein to USA.  His other pledges include two named scholarships:  the Wei and David Feinstein Scholarship in CIS and the Wei and David Feinstein Scholarship for a Rising Sophomore. 

“Thirty years with the School of Computer and Information Sciences does not seem long,” Dr. Feinstein said. “I have seen it grow from a faculty of one to what it is today.  My family has two bachelor’s degrees, two master’s degrees, two MDs and soon one Ph.D. from South Alabama. Wei has worked at the University and been a student both in a master's program and now in the Ph.D. program in Basic Medical Sciences.  Wei and I wanted to give something back to the most important people at South Alabama and in the School of CIS -- the students.  Thus, the opportunity to name the room for the student chapter of the ACM, the oldest and largest professional society in the computing sciences is just a small way of saying thank you.”

Dr. Alec Yasinsac, dean of the School of Computer and Information Sciences, said, “David Feinstein has been with the School of Computer and Information Sciences since it first formed, so it is fitting that he is the first SCIS faculty member to name a room in Shelby Hall. David and Wei generously supported our students during USA’s recent campaign, and this gift is another step in making permanent the Feinstein legacy in our school. We appreciate their support and leadership at this pivotal time in SCIS history.”

Dr. Joseph F. Busta Jr., vice president for development and alumni relations, said, “David and Wei are truly an inspiration to others, supporting the University through their time and dedication, loyalty, and now a third pledge to support the School of Computer and Information Sciences.  This gift to name a room within Shelby Hall will provide much-needed funding for the school and its programs.  Whenever there is a chance to better the school, David and Wei find a way to support it, and we are very appreciative."

Construction continues at the University on Shelby Hall, a 155,000-square-foot engineering and computing sciences building that is expected to spur local economic development by generating new technological advances and providing state-of-the-art education for the next generation of engineers and computer science professionals.

The new building is named Shelby Hall - Engineering and Computing Sciences Building - in honor of U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby and his wife, Dr. Annette Shelby. A longtime supporter of USA and its academic programs, Sen. Shelby was instrumental in securing more than $40 million in federal funding for the project.

Slated for completion in September 2011, the facility will include technologically advanced multimedia classrooms, laboratory space and computing facilities for both the College of Engineering and the School of Computer and Information Sciences at USA. It is being built on USA’s main campus at the intersection of University Boulevard and Old Shell Road.

Additional room-naming opportunities are available for Shelby Hall.  Contact Lauren Weigel, associate director of major gifts in the Office of University Development, for more information at 251-414-8063 or


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