A Dallas billionaire gave the University of Texas-Arlington (UTA) a historically large gift this week — a donation of $12 million to propel its resource and energy engineering (REE) program.
UTA announced the donation — the single largest the school has ever received — in a news release on May 10. The donor is UTA alumnus Kelcy Warren, who now runs Energy Transfer LP as CEO and sits on the UT system’s board of regents.
“I am honored to give back to the institution that has played such a pivotal role in advancing my educational and professional journeys,” Warren said in the news release. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering back in 1978.
Using the allotment, UTA will target several improvements to its REE degree program.
A Kelcy Warren Endowed Professorship and two Kelcy Warren Endowed Faculty Fellowships will help attract top talent to the program’s teaching faculty.
Upgrades to REE laboratory space and equipment will be paired with increased research opportunities for undergraduates receiving Warren scholarships and graduates awarded Warren Fellowships.
Finally, a Kelcy Warren Career Experience Center will help bridge the gap between university and industry by creating new opportunities for students to receive experiential learning.
“Texas faces a critical need for highly skilled graduates who can manage energy resources, and this innovative REE program will help meet that demand,” explained Warren in the news release.
The REE bachelor’s degree program will launch next fall, creating what the dean of the UTA College of Engineering, Peter Crouch, called “a pipeline of talented engineers who are ready to make an immediate impact in the dynamic energy sector,” according to the news release.
As The Dallas Express reported, UTA’s graduate engineering program was already ranked No.4 in Texas and No.69 nationwide by this year’s U.S. News and World Report.
Last September, Dallas College partnered with UTA and other North Texas universities to use an $8.8 million grant awarded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration to grow the region’s biotech workforce, as The Dallas Express reported.
Warren was one of 16 North Texans to have made Forbes’ 400 wealthiest Americans list last year, as The Dallas Express reported.
This charitable donation given to UTA was not the alumnus’ first, according to the news release: Over the course of 25 years, he gave the school over $4 million.
These funds were used to support the university in various ways, including the establishment of both the Kelcy Warren Graduate Fellowship for Engineering and the Dr. Syed Qasim Professorship, which was named in honor of Warren’s mentor.