Donor Spotlight: Tom Furst '65 VSB
Tom Furst ’65 VSB found his inspiration in the extraordinary experiences he shared in the halls of Villanova University. As the student body president who introduced Martin Luther King to the Villanova community on January 20, 1965 and as a member of Blue Key, Tom was embedded in Villanova’s spirit and success. “The experience of this deep involvement contributed so much to who I am and to the skills I developed”. His passion for Villanova manifested into dedicated support which is felt on campus today and through his work within the West Coast Region.
As a member of the Class of 1965 Reunion committee, Tom partnered with Dan Capodanno ’65 CLAS to help coordinate the alumni outreach effort for the West Coast Region. The Class of 1965’s combined efforts yielded a tremendous turnout – gathering more than 18% of their classmates back on campus and raising more than $17 million for the University. Furst has also been involved in the “Villanova in the Valley” program, exposing Villanova students to innovative, creative and entrepreneurial opportunities in Silicon Valley.
Tom lives in California with his wife, Betsy. Over the last 50 years, he has worked in large organizations within the high tech and professional services industries. He served as senior vice president and CFO of SRI International, an organization responsible for the development of such transformative technologies as SIRI (the virtual personal assistant) and robotic surgery (the founder of Intuitive Surgical, maker of the da Vinci system), among others. Currently, he serves as interim CFO for US Flare Management, a startup working to reduce natural gas flaring at the wellhead. Furst is also the business strategy consultant for the aviation documentary, “Flying the Feathered Edge”, starring the decorated US Air Force fighter pilot, Bob Hoover, and Harrison Ford.
“Villanova has always been an important part of my total life experience. I am proud to support innovation at Villanova University and be a part of its proud living history as it moves forward, celebrating its past and setting an exciting course for its future.”