West Virginia University has announced a $34 million gift from alumnus Ben Statler, co-founder and CEO of the private investment firm Gulf Coast Capital Partners, and his wife, Jo, to the university’s College of Engineering and Mineral Resources.
The gift, which includes $11 million to be matched by the state’s Research Trust Fund, will support creation of a new advanced engineering research facility on campus and the establishment of the Statler Research Scholars program, which will provide scholarships and research support for at least twenty undergraduate engineering students. In addition, the gift — a portion of which comes from a previously announced commitment — will be used to create and endow three faculty chairs in energy research and fund a graduate research fellows program.
In recognition of the gift, the college will be renamed the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. The Statlers have long-standing ties with the university. Ben Statler received a bachelor’s degree in mining engineering from the school in 1973 and joined the WVU Foundation board in August 2008, while Jo has worked for the School of Dentistry.
“We are very grateful to Ben and Jo for their continued generosity and commitment to WVU,” said WVU Foundation president and CEO Wayne King. “The impact of this transformational gift will be experienced by students and faculty now and for many years to come. From scholarships, to advances in research, to improved facilities, the benefits coming to the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources from this donation will be far reaching.”
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