Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) recently received an extremely generous donation of $300 million from alum Fred Kummer and his wife, June. Following his education at Missouri S&T, Mr. Kummer went on to build his own company - the HBE Corp. - which he developed into a leading design firm for health care. Now Mr. Kummer is building another legacy at Missouri S&T, namely the Kummer Institute Foundation which will play an integral part in expanding Missouri S&T further.
The Kummer Institute Foundation will help to create a new school at Missouri S&T called the Kummer School of Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Development. The school will be dedicated to combine Missouri S&T’s current business programs with new programs related to innovation and entrepreneurship to create more degree programs for students. The donation also established the Kummer Institute for Education and Research with 4 sub-sections: the Center for Advanced and Resilient Infrastructure, the Center for Resource Sustainability, the Center for Advanced Manufacturing, and the Center for Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems. These centers will be using research space in Rolla, and will be the junction for Missouri S&T partnerships with various entities “to stimulate business innovation, provide corporate research and development, and develop prototypes for new products.” The Kummer’s goals are to promote greater outreach in the Missouri S&T community in Community Education, Distance Learning, and Industry and Entrepreneurship Education. The generous donation also provides other enhancements for Missouri S&T as a whole. New scholarships and fellowships will be created for undergraduate and graduate students, expansion of the current Missouri S&T online degree programs, and more. “Everything about The Kummer Institute Foundation is focused on innovation and entrepreneurship – just as June and Fred themselves have been throughout the years,” Chancellor Dehghani stated. “Their gift will position S&T as a recognized leader in innovation and entrepreneurial education, and for that we are truly grateful.”
Fred Kummer, age 91, was born in New York, and attended the City College of New York before deciding to transfer to Missouri University of Science and Technology (then called the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy). He left Rolla to serve in the Army in 1952, married his wife June while serving our country. He returned to complete his education in 1954, and graduated with a degree in civil engineering in 1955. Fred Kummer founded the HBE Corporation in 1960, which developed into an extremely successful design-build firm for health care. HBE’s earlier construction work also included some of Missouri S&T’s buildings, such as the Curtis Laws Wilson Library and Gale Bullman Building. Fred believes much of his success is owed to Missouri S&T, and is happy to give back to the community that provided him with so many opportunities. The Kummer’s have been generous donors to Missouri S&T for decades, and this is their largest contribution yet. This donation has become the largest gift to higher education ever in the state of Missouri. Contributors like the Kummer’s help Missouri S&T grow and improve in all aspects of the community, and show what an impact Missouri S&T can have on an individual’s life.
Picture provided by discover.mst.edu.