Former Georgia Tech president named chair of Kummer Institute Foundation Board

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On August 31, 2021
Dr. G.P. “Bud” Peterson
Dr. G.P. “Bud” Peterson

Dr. G.P. “Bud” Peterson, president emeritus of Georgia Institute of Technology, has been named chair of The Kummer Institute Foundation Board of Directors at Missouri S&T.

Board members unanimously elected Peterson during their meeting Wednesday, Aug. 11. He succeeds the late Fred Kummer, the organization’s founding chair, who died April 30 at age 92. In October 2020, Kummer and his wife, June, donated $300 million to Missouri S&T to establish the Kummer Institute for Student Success, Research and Economic Development to support Missouri S&T. The gift, with a current estimated value of $409 million, also established The Kummer Institute Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation that supports several new initiatives at Missouri S&T.

“Bud Peterson is the right person to lead this board as we move from the planning phase to the implementation phase of the Kummer Institute,” says Missouri S&T Chancellor Mo Dehghani, who also serves as president and chief executive officer of the Kummer Institute and a member of the board. “Bud brings a wealth of leadership experience at some of the nation’s leading universities, including Georgia Tech, as well as a strong track record with national funding agencies such the National Science Foundation. He led Georgia Tech during a time of transformational growth and innovation, and his experience there will prove to be greatly beneficial to S&T as we move forward. We are thankful to Bud for taking on this new assignment, and I know that the late Fred Kummer would be very happy with our selection.”

“It is an honor and privilege to be asked to serve as chair of the The Kummer Institute Foundation Board of Directors,” Peterson says. “I had the good fortune to meet with Mr. Kummer several times during the planning stages of his incredible gift, and the vision he had for how he might help transform Missouri S&T into one of the leading scientific, technological research universities was truly remarkable. I look forward to working with university leadership, faculty, staff and alumni and to help that vision become a reality.”

Peterson served as Georgia Tech’s 11th president from April 2009 to August 2019 and is now President Emeritus and Regents Professor in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech. Before joining Georgia Tech, he served as chancellor of the University of Colorado at Boulder, and provost of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has held several national leadership positions, including serving for 12 years as a member of the National Science Board, which oversees and advises the president and Congress on science and engineering policy. He also served as chair of the NCAA Board of Governors for three years. Earlier in his career, he held positions at Texas A&M University, including serving as associate vice chancellor for engineering for the Texas A&M University System. He was a visiting research scientist at NASA-Johnson Space Center and held faculty positions at Kansas Technical Institute, Shawnee Mission South High School and Wabaunsee (Kansas) County High School.

Peterson has helped establish national education and research agendas, serving on numerous industry, academic and congressional task forces, research councils and advisory boards, including the Office of Naval Research, NASA, the Department of Energy, the National Research Council, the National Academy of Engineering, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the National Science Board, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, and the U.S. Council on Competitiveness.

Peterson’s research interests include the fundamental aspects of phase change heat transfer, including the heat transfer in reduced gravity environments, boiling from enhanced surfaces, and some of the earliest work in the area of flow and phase change heat transfer in microchannels.

In addition to Peterson and Dehghani, other members of The Kummer Institute Foundation Board of Directors are:

  • Dr. Delbert Day, Curators’ Distinguished Professor emeritus of ceramic engineering at Missouri S&T and former chair and president of Mo-Sci Corp., a Rolla-based manufacturer of specialty glass products used in the health care, energy, defense and automotive industries. Day founded the company in 1985, when he co-invented TheraSphere, irradiated glass microspheres used to treat liver cancer. Day is also a 1958 ceramic engineering graduate of Missouri S&T.
  • Gary Havener, president of the Havener Companies of Fort Worth, Texas, and founder of multiple companies, including real estate development and investment, corporate jet refurbishment, textbook warehousing, and antenna systems design and manufacturing. Havener is a 1961 mathematics graduate of Missouri S&T.
  • Dr. Martin C. Jischke, former president of Purdue University and Iowa State University, who also served as chancellor of Missouri S&T from 1986 to 1991. Jischke held the presidency at Iowa State from 1991 to 2000, when he became president of Purdue. He retired from Purdue in 2007.
  • Joseph D. Lehrer, of counsel with the St. Louis law firm Greensfelder, where he represents publicly and privately held clients in corporate transactions, handling mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, and financing. He serves as the foundation’s board secretary.
  • Dr. Joan B. Woodard, retired executive vice president and deputy director of Sandia National Laboratories. Woodard earned a bachelor of science degree in mathematics from Missouri S&T in 1973. A member of the S&T Board of Trustees, she serves as treasurer of The Kummer Institute Foundation board.

About the Kummer Institute

The Kummer Institute for Student Success, Research and Economic Development (Kummer Institute) was established in October 2020 through a $300 million gift from June Kummer and her late husband, Fred Kummer, who was a 1955 civil engineering graduate of Missouri S&T (then known as the University of Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy). Fred Kummer was founder and chair of St. Louis-based HBE Corp., which he established in 1960 and built into the world’s leading design-build firm for health care. The Kummers’ gift also established The Kummer Institute Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that supports initiatives designed to elevate the stature of Missouri S&T, provide broad outreach for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education at all levels, and positively impact the economy of south-central Missouri and beyond. Kummer Institute initiatives include four new research centers, the Kummer Center for STEM Education, and the Kummer College of Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Development. Learn more at

About Missouri University of Science and Technology

Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) is a STEM-focused research university of over 7,100 students and part of the four-campus University of Missouri System. Located in Rolla, Missouri, Missouri S&T offers 101 different degree programs in 40 areas of study and is ranked by CollegeFactual as the best public university to study engineering. For more information about Missouri S&T, visit

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On August 31, 2021. Posted in email, Kummer Institute, News

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