Northwestern University has announced a $5.5 million gift from trustee and alumnus Jeff Ubben and his wife, Laurie, for a new climate center in its Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern.
The Ubben Program for Climate and Carbon Science will bring together faculty experts and partners from science, engineering, business, policy, law, and communications to advance the world's understanding of natural and or human-caused climate dynamics and develop and evaluate new approaches for climate mitigation, including energy solutions designed to minimize — and even capture and recycle — greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. That research, in turn, will provide a better basis from which to inform local and regional decision making around public policy and investments affecting critical social and environmental systems.
A graduate of Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management ('87 MBA), Jeff Ubben is the CEO, chief investment officer, and founder of San Francisco-based money-management firm ValueAct Capital and a director of Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. and Willis Towers Watson PLC. In addition, Ubben, who recently completed a ten-year term as chair of the Posse Foundation's national board of directors, serves on the university's finance and student life committees, on the steering committees for the We Will: The Campaign for Northwestern and the Kellogg School's Transforming Together capital campaign, and co-chairs the university's San Francisco Regional Campaign Committee. Laurie Ubben is a co-founder of the Bird School of Music, a producer of the film Loving Vincent, and serves on the board and national advisory committee of Youth Speaks. The Ubbens' latest gift increases their total university support to $21.6 million through the We Will campaign.
"Jeff and Laurie are exemplary members of the Northwestern community, and their continued support has advanced programs across the university," said Northwestern president Morton Schapiro. "Their passion for developing sustainability and energy solutions is inspiring, and we are so grateful for their partnership in this area."