Friday, October 7, 2022
Dedicated students, distinguished colleagues and dear friends,
More than anything, philanthropy is a state of mind that motivates individuals, wealthy or otherwise, to contribute, in large or small ways, to an organization whose work has touched their heart. On Monday, Oct. 10, we will celebrate Kummer Day to mark the two-year anniversary of a generous act by a 1955 graduate of our university whose heart was touched by his experience at S&T (MSM). I was personally present when on Friday, Oct. 9, 2020, Fred and June Kummer bestowed their transformative gift on our university from their kitchen table without any fanfare or expectation of recognition.
Fred, who passed away in April 2021, was an independent, out-of-the-box thinker (he actually denied that there ever existed a box) who believed that his S&T education was the sole source of his enormous professional success. “I can’t think of anything that contributed more to my professional career than my Rolla education,” he told me. And in all my interactions with him he insisted on ensuring continuation of our mission in educating the “future generations of engineers and scientists.”
June and Fred’s mandate is doctrinal, comprehensive and straightforward:
On Monday we will celebrate the establishment of the Kummer Institute for Student Success, Research and Economic Development. A non-profit, the Kummer Institute Foundation, is governed by a board of directors whose members were primarily selected by Fred himself. The board is charged with ensuring that June and Fred’s wishes are carried out by Missouri S&T and that the gift will continue to create opportunities for S&T, our region and our state. The accomplishments of the institute over its first two years include:
Fred Kummer invited each of us to take a bigger, bolder approach to enhancing STEM education. He was a true possibility thinker, a mentor and a friend. His optimism lives on and continues to incentivize our supporters and their confidence in our future.
I ask our students, faculty and staff to join us for Kummer Day on Monday to celebrate not only June and Fred’s gift but also to celebrate the act of philanthropy. I will read my second annual tribute to Fred and will highlight that philanthropy is not a destination but a journey. A journey along which every donor takes notice, remembers the kind acts of others, and acknowledges their appreciation by contributing toward the development of others.
On Monday we will celebrate June, Fred and all of our donors for their state of mind and their decisions to influence, to construct, to give energy and to pave the road for future generations to become successful contributors to society.
And these are all the reasons we celebrate Kummer Day!
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