The second largest gift in the university's history includes $2.5 million over five years to establish the Peter J. Werth Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and a $20 million estate gift to provide support for the institute in perpetuity. In recognition of the gift, UConn will rename the NextGen Residence Hall the Peter J. Werth Residence Tower.
Werth, who earned his bachelor's degree from Fort Hays State University in Kansas and his master's degree from Stanford University, began his career as an R&D scientist before launching — in 1982, from a room above the garage in his Woodbridge, Connecticut, home — ChemWerth Inc., a full-service generic drug development and supply company. Now president of the Werth Family Foundation, Werth previously had provided the lead gift for the Werth Family UConn Basketball Champions Center for the UConn women's and men's basketball teams.
"An investment in UConn is an investment in the university's spirit of innovation," said Werth. "While I didn't attend UConn, I have come to believe in its mission and see the importance of creating opportunities for innovation at our state's flagship university. I'm delighted and honored that I could make this gift in support of young entrepreneurs, as they create innovative solutions for today's unique challenges."
(Photo credit: UConn Foundation)