The University of Dayton has announced a $5 million gift from alumni Margie and Bill Klesse ('68) in support of scholarships and research opportunities for high-achieving students.
The gift will establish the Margie and Bill Klesse Scholars Program, which will support students with financial need, and the Margie and Bill Klesse Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowships program, which will provide students with experiential learning opportunities. Both programs will give priority to students majoring in chemistry or chemical engineering.
Margie and Bill Klesse both grew up in large families and both pursued majors in science and engineering, which they thought would improve their chances of landing a job after graduation. Bill spent his entire forty-five-year career at Valero Energy Corp. and its predecessor companies, retiring in 2014 as CEO and board chair.
"It's a forward-thinking gift that supports our vision of creating more robust scholarship programs and deeper, hands-on learning experiences," said University of Dayton president Eric F. Spina. "The Klesses' generous commitment will help us attract talented, intellectually curious students, no matter their ZIP code or family's income level, to fields of study that will make America more innovative and competitive."
"We are very committed to the sciences in education," said Bill Klesse. "We want to help students by offering financial aid and making it more economical to attend a university where they'll get a great education. The sciences are the future. The breakthroughs that have happened in our lifetime are unbelievable, and we're trying to give young people the opportunity to explore."