Remembering UCI alumnus Vincent Steckler

Remembering UCI alumnus Vincent Steckler

 Office of the Dean June 24, 2021

Tech titan and philanthropist made lasting impact on campus

The UCI community mourns the loss of beloved alumnus, friend and supporter Vincent Steckler ’80. The former CEO of Avast Antivirus Software passed away from a car accident on Tuesday, June 15, 2021, at the age of 62.

Steckler earned both a B.S. in information & computer science and a B.S. in mathematics at UCI in 1980. He joined Avast as CEO in 2009 and transformed the company from a small regional business into a global provider of internet security. Steckler remained active in the Orange County community and was a strong advocate for equity and inclusion in the computing industry. As a philanthropist, Steckler and his wife Amanda made several contributions to the UCI campus, including the School of Humanities, that have made a lasting impact.

In 2017, the Stecklers made their first gift to the UCI Department of Art History, which significantly expanded paid internship possibilities for students at museums and cultural institutions throughout the country and funded a student field trip across 1,900 miles to see artworks embedded in the environment.

Then in 2021, the Stecklers made a $10.4 million gift to the campus. About half of the donation – $5 million – established the Center for Responsible, Ethical and Accessible Technologies within the Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences, which works to create an inclusive, accessible, safe, and equitable computing industry.

The other half of the gift – nearly $5.4 million – established an endowment for graduate and undergraduate students pursuing coursework in art history by providing experiential learning, research-related travel, mentoring, career-building opportunities, and fellowships.

Steckler, who took a course in art history as an undergraduate that deeply moved him, noted that internships better prepare students for careers.

“We are deeply saddened by the unexpected and tragic loss of Vince Steckler,” said Tyrus Miller, dean of the UCI School of Humanities. “His dedication to inclusion and opportunities for students of all backgrounds will forever shape the campus and become his legacy.”

The UCI community extends its sincerest condolences to Steckler's family and friends.

Per the family’s request, those who would like to share memories can do so by emailing condolences@avast.com.