Ecolab Chairman and CEO Douglas M. Baker Jr. and University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler have announced a $5 million gift from the Ecolab Foundation to the University-wide Driven campaign, in support of environmental sustainability research and education. A cornerstone of the Ecolab Foundation gift is $2 million to establish an endowed chair for the Institute on the Environment.
“Our gift is designed to support sustainability thought leadership for years to come,” says Baker. “Ecolab operates at the nexus of business and sustainability, and this investment from the Ecolab Foundation will encourage collaboration between the University and the business community to ensure a secure, sustainable future for everyone.”
The contribution will count toward Driven: The University of Minnesota Campaign, a comprehensive fundraising effort that has raised more than $3 billion toward its $4 billion goal.
The Ecolab Foundation will also invest more than $1 million in undergraduate scholarships in science, engineering, and related environmental and sustainability-focused majors and minors, providing renewable awards of $7,500 for diverse and talented students beginning in their sophomore year. Through the Institute on the Environment, the gift also will support immersive student experiences with global and local partners focused on energy, water quality and supply, sustainable development, and public health.
The gift will also support undergraduates in the U’s Carlson School of Management by funding scholarships and international learning experiences that equip students to address the real and growing risks to our environment. Another portion of the gift will underwrite a major conference series to engage top industry and academic experts in collaboratively driving forward progress on major environmental challenges.
“Public-private partnerships are essential to making real progress on sustainability and addressing the impacts of climate change,” says Jessica Hellmann, director of the Institute on the Environment, who will become the first Ecolab Chair for Environmental Leadership. “The global economic impact of climate change and other stressors make this work truly imperative, for Minnesota and around the globe.”
- The campaign, which includes all five University campuses, will rank among the top five campaigns of public universities nationwide.
- A College of Design alumnus and spouse have committed $3 million to support graduate students studying landscape architecture.
- 3M’s $26 million investment in the Driven campaign includes a new $8 million commitment to support scholarships and outreach programs.
- Minnesota Masonic Charities accelerates its pledge payments and provides an influx of $25 million for the Masonic Cancer Center to use over the next two years.