The Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) in Rolla, Missouri, has announced a $300 million gift from alumnus Fred Kummer ('55) and his wife, June.
The gift — the largest in the history of Missouri higher education — will establish a new not-for-profit foundation, the Kummer Institute Foundation, and support several new initiatives, including the Kummer School of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, a school within the university that will combine business-related academic programs with entrepreneurship programs at the bachelor's, master's, and PhD levels, as well as new research centers focused on infrastructure, advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence and autonomous systems, and environmental and resource sustainability. The gift also will support scholarships and fellowships for high-achieving students; the expansion of Missouri S&T's online degree programs; new research faculty positions; the expansion and renovation of existing structures as well as the construction of new buildings and labs; and expanded community outreach, including a lecture series and a shuttle service between S&T and St. Louis.
Fred Kummer, who earned a degree in civil engineering from Missouri S&T, which was then known as the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy, in 1960, established the HBE Corp., a design-build firm for health care. The Kummers are longtime supporters of the university and previously provided the lead gift for the Kummer Student Design Center, as well as support for the expansion of Butler-Carlton Civil Engineering Hall in the 1990s and Toomey Hall in the early 2000s.
"I owe much of my success to the education I received at Rolla," said Kummer. "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."
"As word spreads about this gift and the creation of the Kummer Institute, we fully expect to see additional investment from other donors, corporate partners, research agencies, and the state and federal government," said Missouri S&T chancellor Mo Dehghani. "As universities, we have an obligation to spill ourselves over into our communities. This investment will create jobs, new technology and research advances that will energize the economy of our region for decades to come."
(Photo credit: Missouri S&T)