Kelcy Warren learned things he would never forget in his days at the University of Texas at Arlington—and now he’s remembered the school in a way bigger than anyone ever has before.
The UTA alumnus, who’s now executive chairman and chairman of the board of directors of Dallas-based Energy Transfer LP, has made a $12 million gift to help elevate UTA to the forefront of the growing resource and energy engineering (REE) field.
The funding will be used to fuel faculty and research excellence in the College of Engineering’s new REE bachelor’s degree program “while providing students with life-changing opportunities for educational and career success in REE and beyond,” the university said.
“I am honored to give back to the institution that has played such a pivotal role in advancing my educational and professional journeys,” Warren, who graduated from UTA in 1978 with a BS in civil engineering, said in a statement. “Texas faces a critical need for highly skilled graduates who can manage energy resources, and this innovative REE program will help meet that demand.”
Warren is also a member of the University of Texas System Board of Regents.
“We are deeply grateful for Regent Warren’s bold philanthropic vision that promises to forever change the landscape of UTA and leave a lasting legacy at his alma mater,” UTA President Jennifer Cowley said. “A gift of this magnitude will provide transformational support for resource and energy engineering and establish UTA as a national leader in this increasingly important industry.”
In recognition of Warren’s generosity, UTA said it will name in his honor three endowed REE academic positions as well as REE laboratory space, a career experience center, and scholarship/fellowship recipients. His gift will also support research experiences for undergraduate engineering students.
UTA said Warren’s gift will: Create the Kelcy Warren Endowed Professorship in Resource and Energy Engineering to recruit and retain a world-class faculty member to lead the program
Create two Kelcy Warren Endowed Faculty Fellowships to recruit and retain distinguished scholars to enhance the REE educational experience
Support state-of-the-art REE laboratory space and equipment that will provide faculty and students with the best possible resources to explore solutions to today’s most pressing energy challenges
Create the Kelcy Warren Career Experience Center to provide opportunities for engineering undergraduates to engage in experiential learning, including internships and co-ops
Provide scholarship support for REE undergraduate students—to be named Warren Scholars—to help them fulfill their educational goals
Provide fellowship support for engineering graduate students—to be named Warren Fellows—interested in energy industry careers upon graduation
Support research experiences for engineering undergraduates to prepare them for success in the energy industry and other high-demand fields
James B. Milliken, chancellor of The University of Texas System, lauded Warren’s generosity.
“As a UT System regent, Kelcy Warren consistently demonstrates a deep commitment to students and the potential they bring to our state’s future,” Milliken said in the statement. “His extraordinary generosity to his alma mater, in an area that is vital to Texas’ well-being and competitiveness, is far-sighted and will serve our students extremely well.
UTA’s new REE bachelor’s degree program will be the first of its kind in the U.S., the university says. Scheduled to launch this fall, it will prepare students to apply engineering principles to the design, development and operational evaluation of energy generation, storage, conversion, and distribution systems.
The program will be housed in UTA’s Electrical Engineering department and will include instruction in both conventional and renewable energy sources. As well as addressing a vital workforce need, it will ensure that graduates understand both engineering and business interests, UTA said.
“Regent Warren’s unprecedented gift will accelerate our ability to produce a pipeline of talented engineers who are ready to make an immediate impact in the dynamic energy sector,” said Peter Crouch, dean of the UTA College of Engineering.
Warren previously made 10 gifts to UTA totaling over $4M
Named a UTA Distinguished Alumnus in 2007, Warren has supported the university in the past. Over more than 25 years, he’s given the university 10 gifts totaling over $4 million. He previously established the Kelcy Warren Graduate Fellowship for Engineering and the Dr. Syed Qasim Professorship in honor of his former professor and mentor. His other prior gifts include support for Texas Tier One strategic research initiatives and the Texas Business Hall of Fame Scholarship.
In March 2019, Warren was appointed to a six-year term on the UT System Board of Regents. He’s been recognized by numerous energy and business organizations for his contributions to the industry and is a member of the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, the Texas Business Hall of Fame, and the Ammys Hall of Fame.