A University of Louisville alumnus has pledged $20 million to establish the Kentucky Center for Renewable Energy Research and Environmental Stewardship at the school’s J.B. Speed School of Engineering.
The gift from Henry Conn and his wife, Rebecca, is the largest individual donation ever made to the University of Louisville – or any public Kentucky university – according to Gov. Steve Beshear. The new center will be named the Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research and Environmental Stewardship in their honor.
The center’s mission will include promoting partnerships among the state’s colleges and universities, private industry and nonprofit organizations to actively pursue federal research and development resources that are dedicated to renewable energy.
Beshear said he sees the center as an opportunity to harness the various progressive efforts on renewable energy in the commonwealth for a greater objective.
“The center achieves several objectives laid out in my administration’s strategic energy plan for Kentucky, including creating higher quality jobs, identifying methods that allow citizens to be more energy efficient and helping our nation become energy secure,” Beshear said.
Henry Conn is a native of Louisville and earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering and a master of business administration degree from UofL. Conn began his career at Ford and later went on to serve in executive positions with Allis-Chalmers, Siemens-Allis Inc. and TRW Inc. He has co-authored two business books and currently serves as an executive advisor for corporations worldwide and also sits on the Industrial Board of Advisors for the J.B. Speed School of Engineering.