White initiated as Missouri S&T Chi Epsilon member

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On December 11, 2020

Joining forces with actor Matt Damon, Gary White, CE’85, MS CE’87, is bringing clean water and sanitation to millions worldwide through the non-profit, water.org, and the WaterCredit microloan program.

Gary White, CEO and co-founder of Water.org and WaterEquity.org, was recently initiated as the 132nd honor member of Missouri S&T’s Chi Epsilon chapter.

Chi Epsilon, the national honor society for civil engineers, selects individuals who have attained a degree of eminence in the civil engineering profession, exhibited experience and ability worthy of emulation by young civil engineers, and possess a minimum of 10 years’ experience in the civil engineering profession as registered professional engineers. The S&T student chapter initiated 23 new current students during the ceremony along with White.

The recent online meeting provided an opportunity for participation by distance education students, including international initiates Samantha Turner and Ricky Estardo. Turner works for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Germany, and Estardo owns his own geotechnical engineering company in the Philippines. Both are master’s students in civil engineering at S&T. The transition to online initiation allowed the chapter to include distance education students for the first time, and had initiates spanning 14 time zones.

“Having Gary White there to chat with us as the chapter’s newest member showed us just where we could go as professionals and global citizens,” says Turner. “I have some experience seeing just that – engineers taking our base education and applying it to solve the world’s toughest problems. I’m thankful that Gary was able to share that with us.”

The 2020 Chi Epsilon nominees. Photo submitted by the civil, architectural and environmental engineering department at S&T.

For the past 25 years, White’s entrepreneurial vision has driven innovations in the way water and sanitation projects are delivered and financed through Water.org, which is based in Kansas City, Missouri.

White developed Water.org’s WaterCredit Initiative, which creates new financing options for poor populations to meet their water supply and sanitation needs. He also developed and now leads WaterEquity, the first-ever impact investment manager dedicated to ending the global water crisis in our lifetime, with an exclusive focus on raising and deploying capital to water and sanitation businesses throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America.

White is an advisor in the water and sanitation space, counseling organizations such as the Skoll Foundation, Bank of America Foundation, PepsiCo Foundation, IKEA Foundation and the Caterpillar Foundation on responses to the global water crisis. He is a founding board member of the Millennium Water Alliance and Water Advocates.

He was selected as a Skoll Foundation Social Entrepreneur in 2009 and a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur in 2012. In 2011, he was named to the TIME 100 list of the world’s most influential people and was honored as one of Missouri S&T’s Alumni of Influence. In 2014, he was named to the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Water. In 2017, White was awarded the Forbes 400 Lifetime Achievement Award for Social Entrepreneurship.

White earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from Missouri S&T in 1985 and 1987, respectively. He also holds a master’s degree in environmental engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Chi Epsilon has 141 chapters across the country and has initiated more than 132,000 members. The organization’s vision recognizes students and graduates for their academic achievements while seeking to foster excellence, connectivity and engagement among those in the civil engineering community to improve the world.

About Missouri University of Science and Technology

Founded in 1870 as the University of Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy, Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) is a STEM-focused research university of over 7,600 students and part of the four-campus University of Missouri System. Located in Rolla, Missouri, Missouri S&T offers 99 different degree programs in 40 areas of study, including engineering, the sciences, business and information technology, education, the humanities, and the liberal arts. Missouri S&T is known globally and is highly ranked for providing a strong return on tuition investment, exceptional career opportunities for graduates, and an emphasis on applied, hands-on learning through student design teams and cooperative education and internship opportunities. For more information about Missouri S&T, visit www.mst.edu.

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