Missouri University of Science and Technology has completed the second-largest fundraising year in university history, with $22.6 million in charitable gifts and pledges received during the fiscal year that ended June 30.
This represents a 53 percent increase over the past fiscal year and a 112 percent increase over two years ago. The university’s largest fundraising fiscal year to date was 2007, when charitable gifts totaled more than $25.4 million.
“We are deeply grateful to our donors for their generous, steadfast and growing support,” says Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Joan Nesbitt. “Every gift is a vote of confidence in Missouri S&T and our students. We are proud to earn that trust and are committed to delivering on it. Many alumni, friends, corporations and foundations have chosen to join us in inspiring the next generation of leaders, discovering new solutions to persistent challenges and building a stronger future together.”
Fundraising highlights for the 2018 fiscal year include the largest gift in university history: an in-kind donation of proprietary seismic data valued at $6.5 million from Zion Energy LLC and Calico Jack Holdings LLC, both Houston-based companies. Zion Energy was founded by S&T alumnus Steve Zeboski, a geology and geophysics graduate, and Calico Jack Holdings is operated by Mike Looney, Zeboski’s business partner and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. The data donated to S&T’s geosciences and geological and petroleum engineering department provides students who are learning seismic interpretation and mapping skills with real-world exploration data currently used to drill wells.
Missouri S&T also received a $2 million donation from Clayco Corp. in support of the Advanced Construction and Materials Laboratory, the culminating project in a $10.5 million initiative to advance S&T’s leadership in infrastructure engineering. A gift of $300,000 from ARCO Construction Co. and its partners who are S&T alumni also supported the lab, while a $1 million gift from engineering management alumni John and Kristie (Capps) Gibson funded major arena renovations in the Gale Bullman Building.
In addition, four donors – all alumni and current or former members of S&T’s Board of Trustees – have stepped forward to fund an 8,000-square-foot expansion of the Kummer Student Design Center, home of Missouri S&T’s 20 student design teams. They are Dick Arnoldy, a graduate in civil engineering and engineering management and the retired chairman of ARCO Construction Co.; Brinkmann Constructors, a Chesterfield, Missouri, firm founded by civil engineering graduate and Bob Brinkmann; Mike Bytnar, a graduate in mechanical engineering and engineering management and the retired president of Nooter Corp. of St. Louis; and Gary Havener, a math graduate and president of the Havener Companies in Fort Worth, Texas. The four collectively contributed nearly $2 million to the project.
Arnoldy, Brinkmann and Bytnar were among the leading donors whose gifts built the center in 2011, which is named for alumnus Fred Kummer, founder of St. Louis-based HBE Corp., who provided the naming gift for the facility.
Scholarship funding also grew significantly with the addition of seven new Rolla Rising Scholarships established by alumni. These endowments support students in any class year or major. The fiscal year brought another philanthropic benchmark when nearly 100 major donors traveled to Denver in October to support the S&T Solar House Team, which competed in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. The team finished fourth overall in the international competition—and third for architecture and innovation.
“Missouri S&T is strengthened every day by the philanthropic support that sustains our learning culture of enterprise and innovation,” says interim Chancellor Christopher G. Maples. “I thank our alumni, friends, foundation and corporate partners, and faculty and staff for your investment in our university, our students and the Miner pride we share.”