Axxess, a health care technology company founded by its CEO and University of Texas at Dallas alumnus John Olajide BS’04, has donated $500,000 to establish the Axxess Scholars Program for computer science students.
In honor of Axxess’ contributions, the atrium of the Engineering and Computer Science West building has been named for the company. With 2,140 square feet of space, the Axxess Atrium serves as the dynamic hub for the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science community.
Olajide hopes that the Axxess Scholars Program will serve as a magnet to attract top technical talent to UT Dallas and the North Texas region, while financially supporting the aspirations of students in need.
“The Jonsson School has done a tremendous job of developing computer science and engineering talent that strengthens the Dallas-Fort Worth region’s improving technology community, and we are honored to make our contribution to ensuring that will continue,” he said.
As part of the scholarship gift, Axxess will hold annual networking events with Axxess scholars. The company also is sponsoring five projects in UTDesign Capstone, a senior-level course for Jonsson School students. Companies sponsor real-world projects of their choice and mentor students throughout the process, giving them hands-on work experience.
“Axxess wouldn’t exist if not for the education I received through the Jonsson School,” said Olajide, who was named a UT Dallas Distinguished Alumnus in 2016 and is a member of the University’s Executive Board. “One of the core values at our company is giving back to the community, so it is a natural choice for Axxess to provide the funding necessary to reward and help future computer science students at the University.”
Dr. Stephanie Adams, who recently joined UT Dallas as the Jonsson School’s fifth dean, acknowledged the historic nature of the Axxess gift and noted that the endowment will benefit generations of students.
“The Jonsson School provides a vibrant and enriching environment to nurture future leaders in the STEM fields,” said Adams, who is also the Lars Magnus Ericsson Chair. “This unprecedented support from Axxess helps signal that our talented students and the impact they make in their communities are worth investing in. I am grateful to Axxess for their partnership in securing a bright tomorrow for our students.”
Serving more than 7,000 organizations and 2 million patients in North America, Dallas-based Axxess is one of the fastest-growing health care companies in the country. The seeds of the idea that would become Axxess were planted during Olajide’s time at UT Dallas, he said. While working as an independent information technology consultant to pay his tuition, Olajide saw ways to increase efficiency at the home health companies he supported. His entrepreneurial drive, fostered during his years in the Jonsson School, helped Olajide realize his vision with the founding of Axxess in 2007.
“On behalf of everyone at Axxess, I want to express our appreciation for this generous recognition,” Olajide said. “The Jonsson School has a vision for continuing to provide a world-class education to engineering and computer science students, and we look forward to the Axxess Scholars Program playing an important role in that effort.”
ABOUT THE UT DALLAS COMPUTER SCIENCE DEPARTMENT
The UT Dallas Computer Science program is one of the largest Computer Science departments in the United States with over 3,315 bachelors-degree students, more than 1,110 master’s students, 165 Ph.D. students, 52 tenure-track faculty members, and 44 full-time senior lecturers, as of Fall 2019. With The University of Texas at Dallas’ unique history of starting as a graduate institution first, the CS Department is built on a legacy of valuing innovative research and providing advanced training for software engineers and computer scientists.