Missouri University of Science and Technology gets $300M

Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla announced Monday it has received a gift of $300 million — which it says is the largest single donation to any college in the state.

The gift is from St. Louis businessman Fred Kummer and his wife, June, who are alumni of the school and longtime donors.

The money will start a foundation to support Missouri S&T, establish the Kummer Institute for Student Success, Research and Economic Development, as well as a new school of innovation and entrepreneurship. It also will develop new areas for research, provide numerous scholarships, and fellowships for high-achieving students, university officials said.

Some of the money will go toward expansion, renovation and construction of campus buildings. A new lecture series is to be established, and a shuttle service between S&T and St. Louis is planned to bring students from that metropolitan area to the campus.

“This gift is transformative for S&T, the Rolla region and our state,” Mo Dehghani, Missouri S&T chancellor, said in a statement. “Their gift will position S&T as a recognized leader in innovation and entrepreneurial education, and for that we are truly grateful.”

He said the money also will improve the university’s enrollment numbers. “With this gift, we expect to be able to dramatically increase the size of our student body, recruit outstanding new faculty, establish powerful new centers of research, and engage with the community in new and exciting ways,” Dehghani said.

A native of New York, Kummer, 91, is a 1955 civil engineering graduate of S&T, which was then known as the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy. It is where the couple met as students. He founded HBE Corp., based in St. Louis, in 1960, and as its chairman built it into a leading design-build firm for health care.

“I owe much of my success to the education I received at Rolla,” said Kummer, who is a past member of the Missouri S&T Board of Trustees and the University of Missouri Board of Curators. “My Rolla experience taught me how to think, how to work hard and how to manage my own career. June and I believe in the mission of this great university, and that’s why we have chosen to invest in S&T’s future success.”

Previously, the couple provided the lead gift for the Kummer Student Design Center, which houses 19 student-run design teams. In the 1990s the Kummers helped fund expansion of Butler-Carlton Civil Engineering Hall and, in the early 2000s, of Toomey Hall, which houses mechanical and aerospace engineering programs.

In recognition of June Kummer’s passion for landscaping and gardening, the couple provided a gift to name the Fred and June Kummer Garden at Hasselmann Alumni House.

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Mará has written on all things education for The Star for 20 years, including issues of school safety, teen suicide, universal pre-K programs, college costs, campus protests and university branding.

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