Recent graduate donates $500,000

By Vivien Mao


After selling his company to Google for about $70 million, Scott Becker ’05 donated $500,000 to Harvard-Westlake.

The money will go towards the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) program and support for faculty, although the details are still being figured out.

“This is truly an extraordinary gift from a young alum. This is the largest commitment made by a 23 year old alum of Harvard-Westlake,” Chief Advancement Officer Ed Hu said.

Becker founded Invite Media, a company which sells online advertising space to businesses, in his sophomore year of college at the University of Pennsylvania with three friends.

He had always been interested in computer technology.

For example, his senior project at Harvard-Westlake was to create a social networking site called “Friendzee” that would rival MySpace.

Some of his past projects include “Charlie’s Travels,” a blog for Charlie Melvoin who travelled around the world, the Madison Radiology Web Appointment System, which created a program for patients to schedule appointments online; and “Web Crawler,” which can analyze Social Networking Applications. He even launched a DVD rental site.

At Penn, he created a social networking site specifically for the students; the site reached 2500 members within two months of creation.

He then launched a multilingual social networking application for college students living in Europe and South America.

Always loyal to his school, Becker helped enhance life at college by creating a Penn food cart ordering website as well as an online used textbook marketplace.

He also set up a searching interface for two classes, Dr. Lyle Ungar’s Medline Database class and Dr. Susan Davidson’s Principles of Information Systems classes.

He graduated in 2008 with a major in Computational Biology and was a candidate for a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Engineering.

It was at Harvard-Westlake that he met the many teacher who would become a large supporting factor in his future career.

“It’s inspiring how much energy my [Harvard Westlake] teachers had toward teaching. Most of my college professors didn’t compare,” Becker said, as quoted from Harvard-Westlake Online.

Though he has sold his company, Becker still plans to continue working with subjects he is passionate about, including biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. He hopes that his donation to Harvard Westlake can further research and education for the future.

“I see this as more than a way to show my appreciation for Harvard-Westlake; I see it as an investment in our future.  I know H-W students are going to be building the best products, technologies, films, companies, treatments, books, and disease cures.  My gift will help bring these great things to life sooner,” Becker said.