Robert Norton Noyce
Class of 1949
The name of Robert Noyce is written large in the history of modern electronics and in the industry that evolved from his pioneering work on the integrated circuit. Guided by his mentor, Professor Grant O. Gale, Robert Noyce's inquiries began at Grinnell College, from which he graduated in 1949 with degrees in Physics and Mathematics. He studied the first transistors, developed at Bell Laboratories, in a Grinnell College classroom. Twelve years later, he was awarded the first patent for his principal discovery of the integrated circuit. For this discovery and its world-transforming impact, three presidents of the United States honored him. In 1979, he was awarded the National Medal of Science. In 1990, the National Academy of Engineering awarded Robert Noyce its Draper Prize.
Robert Noyce's inventiveness was as much a matter of entrepreneurship as it was of science and technology. As co-founder in 1968 of Intel Corporation, he was a tireless partisan in the cause of American enterprise at large, in its capacity to serve the everyday needs of people around the world and in its power to fulfill the imperatives of a genuine economic democracy.
Robert Noyce was a loyal alumnus of Grinnell College. He served as a Trustee of the College for many years. The Robert N. Noyce '49 Science Center is named in his honor.