The University of Vermont has announced a $6 million gift from the Gund family to establish a university-wide environmental institute.
Designed to catalyze interdisciplinary research, the Gund Institute for Environment at UVM will connect scholars with leaders in the public, private, and social sectors working to address urgent sustainability issues highlighted by the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. To be headquartered in Johnson House on UVM's Burlington campus, the new institute will replace — and greatly expand the scope of — the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, which the family established in 2002.
The Gunds — Gordon Gund, CEO of Gund Investment Corporation and a former owner of the San Jose Sharks and the Cleveland Cavaliers; his wife, Llura; and their sons Grant ('91) and Zachary ('93), founders and managing partners of private investment firm Coppermine Capital, and their wives, Lara and Lindsey — have pledged an additional $4 million in challenge funds for the institute. Grant Gund serves on the UVM Foundation Leadership Council, while Zack Gund is a member of the UVM Foundation board.
"The University of Vermont is recognized worldwide as a true leader in environmental scholarship, from the nation's first environmental studies program to our pioneering research on acid rain, lake health and nature's true economic value," said University of Vermont president Tom Sullivan. "The Gund Institute for Environment brings the entire campus together to leverage these core strengths to accelerate research and solve the urgent environmental challenges facing Vermont, our nation and our world."