Ray & Tye Noorda Foundation

The Noorda Engineering, Applied Science & Technology Building proudly bears the surname of Utah philanthropists Raymond John “Ray” & Lewena “Tye” Noorda with deep appreciation to the Ray & Tye Noorda Foundation. 

The Noorda Engineering, Applied Science & Technology Building proudly bears the surname of Utah philanthropists Raymond John “Ray” & Lewena “Tye” Noorda with deep appreciation to the Ray & Tye Noorda Foundation
Ray Noorda learned early that hard work gets you where you want to be. The son of a janitor, Ray grew up in Ogden during the Great Depression, tackling a variety of odd jobs to supplement his family’s income. He worked in a candy shop, set pins in a bowling alley, loaded freight trains at the rail yard, picked cherries, sold magazines and even herded sheep. In high school, he excelled at baseball, but declined an invitation to join a professional team when his mother insisted that he go to college instead. Ray attendedWeber College before serving as an electronics technician during World War II. He earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Utah and went to work for General Electric. In August of 1950, after six dates and a year of daily correspondence, Ray married Lewena “Tye” Taylor. Tye grew up on a farm in Freedom, Utah. After high school, when it became clear that Tye’s falir for music and drama deserved a more sophisticated audience than the squabbling residents of the family’s chicken coop, she packed her bags and ambitions and moved to Salt Lake City. She worked two jobs for the next three years to save enough money for speech and drama classes at the University of Utah.  Tye also modeled in New York City, before returning to secretarial work in Salt Lake City and a serendipitous blind date with Ray.
For two decades, Ray rose through the ranks at GE while Tye expanded her impressive performing arts resume. As Ray began to pursue other business interests, Tye was always at his side, ready t o coach him in the art of persuasive argument and public speaking. In 1982, Ray took command at Utah-based Novell, quickly redirecting the company’s focus from hardware lines to networking software. By the mid-1990s, Novell had become an international player in the information technology industr y, and Ray was widely recognized as the “Father of Network Computing” for his vision of using technology to link millions of office PCs to each other. 
The couple’s entrepreneurial spirit, business savvy and Herculean work ethic led to great wealth, most of which was used to serve the people of Utah. The Noordas dedicated the final chapter of their lives to creating educational, economic and cultural opportunities in their home state. Ray recast himself as an active investor i n Utah businesses and labored passionately to create high-paying jobs here.
The College of Engineering, Applied Science & Technology honors the Noordas’ legacy by preparing students for meaningful careers, providing the region with an unparalleled number of workforce-ready college graduates, and inspiring future generations of technology innovators.

The Ray and Tye Noorda Foundation envisions a world where all people enjoy equal opportunities to achieve health, purpose and happiness. We make sizable, enabling grants to those adventurous organizations we believe have the ability to propel the world closer to achieving that vision, concentrating on the following two populations:

  • For the people of today: We work to alleviate suffering and to provide educational access and support for all, with special emphasis on those who are most disadvantaged.

  • For the people of tomorrow: Wishing to leave the world better than we found it, or at least no worse, we aim to eliminate the unsustainable use of fossil fuels by fostering the research and development of alternative energy sources, supporting environmental issue comprehension efforts and supporting energy use behavioral modification program.

Ray Noorda is best known as the "Father of Network Computing" and as the late CEO of Novell Technology.

Ray and his wife Tye were both extremely generous individuals who left much of their legacy to the Ray and Tye Noorda Foundation, now run by several of their children and grandchildren. Ray attended Weber State, focusing on electronics. His children have said that he always had a soft spot for the school where he “got his start.”

The College of Engineering, Applied Science & Technology at Weber State University is proud to honor Ray Noorda and his wife Tye by building and naming the Noorda Engineering, Applied Science & Technology Building.