Missouri University of Science and Technology(Missouri S and T) announced today that it had received a $300 million donation, the largest single gift in the history of Missouri higher education. St. Louis businessman and Missouri S and T alum Fred Kummer and his wife June are giving the money to a foundation they created that will support several initiatives at the university.
The Kummers’ gift will be administered by The Kummer Institute Foundation. Funds from the foundation will support several new initiatives at Missouri S&T, including:
- A new research and development entity modeled after other university-affiliated centers like the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. The new organization will be the home to four new research centers – focused on infrastructure, advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence and autonomous systems, and environmental and resource sustainability.
- The Kummer School of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, a new school that will combine academic programs in business with new programs related to innovation and entrepreneurship at the bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. levels.
- Scholarships, fellowships and other enhancement for high-achieving undergraduate and graduate students.
- Expansion of the university’s online degree programs.
- New research faculty positions.
- Expansion and renovation of existing facilities along with construction of new buildings and labs.
- Enhanced community outreach through student-community engagement, a lecture series, and a shuttle service between S&T and St. Louis to bring students from the metropolitan area to Rolla
“This gift is transformative for S&T, the Rolla region and our state,” said Dr. Mo Dehghani, Missouri S&T chancellor. “For nearly 150 years, Missouri S&T has been known as the state’s premier technological university. Now, thanks to June and Fred, S&T will have the opportunity to become one of the nation’s leading universities for innovation… With this gift, we expect to be able to dramatically increase the size of our student body, recruit outstanding new faculty, establish powerful new centers of research, and engage with the community in new and exciting ways.”
Fred Kummer, 91, is the founder and chairman of St. Louis-based HBE Corp. Established in 1960, HBE Corp is a leading design-build firm for hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout the US. Kummer is a 1955 civil engineering graduate of Missouri S&T, then called the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy. He and his wife have been major donors to the university for decades.
“I owe much of my success to the education I received at Rolla,” Mr. Kummer said. “My Rolla experience taught me how to think, how to work hard and how to manage my own career. June and I believe in the mission of this great university, and that’s why we have chosen to invest in S&T’s future success. We believe that Missouri S&T’s best days are ahead.”
The Kummer Institute Foundation is expected to generate $250 million in gross domestic product for Missouri’s economy during its first five years of operation and more than $2 billion over 25 years, according to an economic impact analysis conducted by the University of Missouri-Columbia.