Kumar Malavalli, entrepreneur and longtime philanthropist for education and other causes, will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree by Cal State East Bay during the university's graduate commencement ceremony in Hayward on Friday, June 14.
Malavalli, a technological visionary in the field of storage networks, in 2007 started VKRM, a boutique venture capital firm dedicated to "supporting entrepreneurs to build innovative and industry leading businesses." The VKRM general partner also is co-author of -- and a driving force behind -- Fibre Channel, a high-speed network technology system used for data storage networking that led to the development of the multi-billion dollar storage area networks (SAN) industry.
In addition to VKRM and Fibre Channel, Malavalli is chief executive officer, co-founder and chair of InMage Systems, a firm that has pioneered the development of event-based disaster recovery and affordable data protection software. Previously, he was co-founder and chief technology officer of Brocade Communications, a leading provider of SAN systems.
"I am honored to receive the Honorary Doctor of Science Degree from Cal State East Bay," Malavalli said. "Cal State East Bay has provided me a great opportunity to continue to support higher education and the efforts of those who are creating the next generation of scientists and engineers in the country."
Malavalli's philanthropic endeavors in education began with digital learning centers in rural parts of his native India and have extended to universities in the United States and Canada. He established the Kumar Malavalli Endowed Chair at the University of California, Santa Cruz to support a professorship for storage systems research in 2005 and co-founded Indus Scholastic Management Services, serving as a trustee of the Indus International Schools in Bangalore, India.
"Mr. Malavalli is an outstanding benefactor and supporter of higher education in the Bay Area, California, our country, and internationally," said Leroy M. Morishita, Cal State East Bay president. "We are so grateful for his support of our students as a longtime member of the Cal State East Bay Educational Foundation."
In addition to his contributions of time and financial support to CSUEB and other institutions, Malavalli is a mentor and board member of numerous Silicon Valley startups, providing advice on marketing, product analysis, nanotechnology and telemedicine. In 2003 he was inducted into the Silicon Valley Engineering Council Hall of Fame for his contributions to technology and society. Other honors include the prestigious INCITS (International Committee for Information Technology Standards) award for his leadership that developed 17 standards in storage and networking.
Malavalli holds several patents in fiber channel technology and has earned academic degrees in electrical engineering and physics from the National Institute of Engineering in Mysore, India.