Baylor To Honor W.M. Keck Foundation, Dedicate Science Equipment Purchased With $500,000 Grant

Feb. 27, 2001

by LoAna Lopez

Baylor University will celebrate W.M. Keck Foundation Day, honoring 20 years of philanthropic support to the university, with the dedication of recently purchased state-of-the-art laboratory equipment for the two fastest-growing undergraduate science majors -- bioinformatics and biochemistry. The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 28, in the Sid Richardson Science Building foyer. A reception in the foyer will follow the dedication ceremony.

The equipment was purchased with a $500,000 grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation of Los Angeles. In biochemistry, the grant has helped upgrade and create laboratory courses, as well as help purchase equipment for undergraduate research. The grant also has allowed bioinformatics to upgrade the molecular genetics teaching laboratory and a bioinformatics teaching laboratory.

Previous significant grants enabled the purchase of an electron microscope, a seismological observatory, an automated libraries system, various geophysics equipment and other new initiatives on campus. The foundation's first gift to the university in 1981 was funding of the W.M. Keck Foundation Professorship in Geophysics, the first holder of which was Dr. Harold Beaver, distinguished professor emeritus and former chair of geology. Dr. Thomas Goforth, chair of the geology department, currently holds the position.

The W.M. Keck Foundation is one of the nation's largest philanthropic organizations. Established in 1954 by the late William Myron Keck, founder of The Superior Oil Company, the foundation's grants focus primarily on the areas of medical research, science and engineering. The foundation also maintains a program for liberal arts colleges and a Southern California Grant Program that provides support in the areas of civic community services, health care and hospitals, pre-collegiate education and the arts.

In 1996, Robert A. Day succeeded his uncle, the late Howard B. Keck, as chairman and president of the W.M. Keck Foundation. Under their leadership the foundation has made grants of over $875 million while its assets have grown from $250 million to over $1.7 billion today.

For more information, contact Cindy Dougherty, director of academic and foundation development, at (254) 710-8642.

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