Sunny Gupta, a leading software entrepreneur and 1992 graduate of Coastal Carolina University, has made a major donation to the University’s College of Science. In recognition of his generosity, CCU recently announced during a ceremony that the college has been renamed the Gupta College of Science. The gift, one of the largest ever received by the University, will provide financial resources and student scholarship support for the college, which boasts more than 4,300 students and has the largest enrollment of CCU’s six academic colleges. The University’s fall 2018 total enrollment was 10,641 students.
The gift supports the University’s I’M IN endowment campaign, which to date has secured more than $30 million for CCU’s endowment. Learn more about the campaign at coastal.edu/endowment.
“Coastal Carolina has been in awe of Sunny Gupta’s career trajectory,” said CCU President David A. DeCenzo. “He continues to be an innovative and highly successful software entrepreneur. We are grateful for Sunny’s gift and the impact it will have on our students for years to come. His generosity speaks volumes to the commitment and loyalty he has for his alma mater.”
Gupta, a native of Chandigarh, India, earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a minor in mathematics in three years from Coastal. As a student, he served as an intern in the Chancellor’s Office, a resident adviser and as president of the International Club. He also worked in the computer science lab.
His professional career spans more than 20 years in enterprise software, with roles including general management, strategic marketing, product management and business development at large companies as well as successful startups.
“Sunny’s generous gift will be transformational for both the University and our students,” said Bryan Steros, CCU’s interim vice president for philanthropy. “Alumni support is the backbone of our past, present and future success. We are delighted that Sunny Gupta will forever be associated with Coastal Carolina University via the naming of the Gupta College of Science.”
Gupta is the cofounder and CEO of Apptio, one of the nation’s fastest-growing software as a service (SaaS) companies. It builds advanced data and analytics applications that help technology leaders analyze and plan their technology spending so they can invest in products that increase the speed of business and deliver innovation. Founded in 2007, Apptio is headquartered in Bellevue, Wash., with an additional 15 offices around the world.
“Coastal Carolina gave me the opportunity to learn computer science and go on to start three companies and eventually start Apptio,” Gupta said. “I also received an academic scholarship – without this scholarship, I would have never been able to complete my education. Without the education, faculty and the support from Coastal, I would have never gotten to where I am in my life today. I am so grateful, and I wanted to create an opportunity for future students who don’t have the financial means to pay for their education. Hopefully, they will get the opportunity to earn an education and become successful in their personal and professional lives.”
Gupta led Apptio to an initial public offering in September 2016 then its acquisition by Vista Equity Partners in January 2019 for $1.94 billion. He won the 2011 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in the Pacific Northwest.
“On behalf of the entire community that makes up the College of Science, now the Gupta College of Science – and especially on behalf of our students – I want to thank Mr. Sunny Gupta and his family for this generous gift,” said Michael Roberts, dean of the Gupta College of Science. “By supporting students as they prepare for high-tech careers, this gift will have a major impact well beyond this college and University. The college is grateful for this support, and we are pleased that with the naming, we have a tangible legacy that will last well into the future.”
Prior to founding Apptio, Gupta was executive vice president of products at Opsware, responsible for all product businesses, until Opsware’s acquisition by HP in 2007. He was also the cofounder and CEO of iConclude, which pioneered the IT runbook automation market through its acquisition by Opsware. He previously held senior leadership roles in products, business development and engineering at Mercury Interactive, Rational Software, and IBM.
He and his wife, Prerna, have two children, Zubin and Zoe, and live in Kirkland, Wash. Gupta was named the College of Science’s 2008 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year. The couple previously established the Sunny and Prerna Gupta Jamboree Alumni Scholarship at CCU.
The Gupta College of Science offers undergraduate students degree programs in 17 areas of study ranging from biochemistry to sociology, as well as 22 minors and three certificate programs. For graduate students, there are three master’s degree programs and one doctoral program. For more information, visit coastal.edu/academics/colleges/science.