When former Chancellor John F. Carney III issued a challenge to chemical engineering alumni to help fund a new chemical and biochemical engineering building, a group of alumni at ExxonMobil took action.
Jason Brinker, ChE’97, venture manager for ExxonMobil and the company’s recruiting lead for Missouri S&T, heard about the plan to upgrade the facility when Carney presented to a group of alumni in Houston. Later, he received an email about the fundraising effort.
“I knew this was a rare moment where I could make a lasting contribution to my alma mater and my department,” Brinker says.
Not only did Brinker make a gift to support the cause, he helped spread the word to fellow alumni who are employed at ExxonMobil.
“When they found out about the campaign, they were happy to contribute,” Brinker says. “As chemical engineers, we all feel a personal connection with the department and we appreciate the quality of the education we received. The Bertelsmeyer Hall campaign was our chance to help the department grow and succeed by supporting the next generation of chemical engineers.”
The ExxonMobil employees took advantage of their company’s corporate match to leverage their personal gifts to the project.
“ExxonMobil has a terrific program to support STEM education at universities, matching alumni gifts at a 3-to-1 ratio,” Brinker says. “This is a great way for alumni to multiply the impact of their gifts.”
Thanks to the combined effort of the ExxonMobil alumni and the company’s generous matching program, ExxonMobil raised nearly $500,000 toward Bertelsmeyer Hall. That contribution made the company the project’s third-largest donor.
The ExxonMobil alumni chose to use their funds to name one of the building’s main lecture halls. The room can be divided into two smaller lecture halls — each named after one of the company’s historic logos. Pegasus is Mobil’s mascot and Tiger is Exxon’s mascot.
“We wanted a space that would have a big impact on the most students, but would also showcase ExxonMobil’s support for the university,” Brinker says. “It was a good opportunity for both sides.”