US audio inventor gives $52.6 million to Cambridge University

US audio inventor gives $52.6 million to Cambridge University


norman lebrecht

December 04, 2015

Ray Dolby, inventor of the Dolby noise-reduction system for audio tapes and movies, was so grateful to Pembroke College, where he got his doctorate and met his wife, that he left it a fortune in his will.


The university calls it ‘the largest gift to a Cambridge college in modern times,’ an English euphemism meaning since forever. Cambridge University was founded in 1209, which falls within the category of Early Modern History.

Ray Dolby, who died in 2013, earned his PhD at Cambridge in 1961 and stayed on as a graduate student and research fellow at Pembroke. He met his wife, Dagmar Dolby, at Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory of Physics.

Dagmar said: ‘At Cambridge, he gained the formative education and insights that contributed greatly to his lifelong ground-breaking creativity, and we also began a wonderful lifetime together there.’


  • thad says:

    The Cambridge administrators cheering the gift could be heard, loud and clear, while those hissing at Dolby’s generosity were suppressed.