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$300 million gift from June and Fred Kummer creates new opportunities for University
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$300 million gift from June and Fred Kummer creates new opportunities for University

A $300 million donation from June Kummer and her late husband, Fred S. Kummer, a 1955 Missouri S&T graduate, leading to great transformation of Missouri University of Science and Technology, the Rolla region and the state of Missouri.

“The increasing impact of the gift from Fred and June Kummer lies in its ability to create meaningful opportunities across departments, disciplines and demographics,” says Missouri S&T Chancellor Mo Dehghani. “Fred and June wanted their gift to elevate S&T, create broad STEM outreach, and have significant economic impact across the state and nation. In just three years, we have seen a tremendous return on their generous investment.”

The Kummers’ donation remains the largest to any university in Missouri and the fifth-largest to any public institution in the nation, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. Their gift established the Kummer Institute for Student Success, Research and Economic Development to broadly support economic development in Missouri, partnerships with Missouri manufacturers and state and national funding agencies, and an increase in access to STEM programs for traditionally underserved schools and districts. The acronym STEM stands for science, technology, education and math.

Milestones include: the appointment of academic leaders, including the founding director of the Kummer Institute Center for Resource Sustainability, interim dean of the Kummer College of Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Development, chairs of business and information technology and computer science, and endowed professor in electrical and computer engineering.

Ongoing investment in capital projects, including the Missouri Protoplex, a hub for manufacturing innovation; the S&T Welcome Center; the Innovation Lab, which is expected to be completed in January 2024; and the Advancing STEM in Missouri initiative that includes a renovation of Schrenk Hall for biological sciences education, a renovation and addition to the Engineering Research Laboratory, and expansion of S&T’s geothermal energy system to Norwood Hall, Parker Hall and Harris Hall in the central area of campus.

Opportunities for donors to extend the impact of their generosity through more than$1.5 million in match funds contributed through the Kummer Inspiration Program, a philanthropy initiative that matched donor contributions to support scholarships, K-12 STEM outreach, summer camps, and endowed faculty, creating over $3 million in impact. The program matched the $550,000 gift of patent royalties from Dr. James O. Stoffer, Curators’ Distinguished Professor emeritus of chemistry, to fund the $1.1 million James O. Stoffer Endowed Professorship in polymer chemistry.

Increased investment in scholarships and fellowships, with more than $3.1 million in funding for the Kummer Vanguard Scholars program for undergraduate students and the Kummer Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E) Doctoral Fellows program for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Federal funding for fiscal year 2023 to support construction of the Manufacturing Technology and Innovation Campus, advanced manufacturing workforce development and training, and equipment for STEM education.

Extending opportunities to Missouri’s underserved students to learn about STEM by funding 77 scholarships to attend summer camps offered by the Kummer Center for STEM Education and by taking projects and experiments on the road in one of the three new STEM mobiles, which became available in May.

Supporting faculty research by awarding $500,000 in Kummer Missouri S&T Ignition Grant Initiative research grants.

The university will celebrate these accomplishments during Kummer Day Monday, Oct. 9. Kummer Day concludes with the kickoff of the Startup Challenge at 3:30 p.m. in the Carver-Turner room of the Havener Center. The kickoff is the first in a series of events that will prepare Missouri S&T students to pitch their entrepreneurial business models to a panel of judges from industry, entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education fields. Teams will compete Nov. 13 for the $5,000 first-place prize. The Startup Challenge is co-sponsored by the Kummer Institute and Career Opportunities and Employer Relations (COER).

Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) is a STEM-focused research university of over 7,000 students located in Rolla, Missouri. Part of the four-campus University of Missouri System, Missouri S&T offers over 100 degrees in 40 areas of study and is among the nation’s top public universities for salary impact, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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