$2.5 million gift to advance MSU chemical engineering

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The Michigan State University College of Engineering will use a $2.5 million gift from Dave and Denise Lamp of Dallas to support scholarships and research in its Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science.

The college will use $2 million to establish the David L. and Denise M. Lamp Endowed Chair in Chemical Engineering and direct the remaining $500,000 to enhance a scholarship fund previously created by the Lamp family.

“I credit a good deal of my professional and business success to my academic experience at Michigan State University,” said David Lamp, who earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from MSU in 1980. “We are pleased to further the mission of the department and enhance excellence in the MSU College of Engineering.”

MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon said she is grateful to the Lamps for their extraordinary leadership and generosity.

“We believe we can accelerate our impact at MSU and beyond by establishing additional endowed chairs and scholarships,” Simon said. “Endowed chairs enable us to build a base of highly regarded faculty who are considered leaders in research and teaching. There is a ripple effect as these stellar faculty members help us to attract the brightest students.

“We are profoundly thankful to David and Denise for investing in our students and advancing MSU in such significant ways.”

Martin Hawley, chairperson of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, said the addition of the Lamp Endowed Chair will expand scientific initiatives in the department, noting that three faculty in the department received Faculty Early Career Development awards in 2013 from the National Science Foundation.

In addition to the creation of the Lamp Endowed Chair, the gift from the Lamps also increases financial aid for chemical engineering students. In 2007, they established the David L. and Denise M. Lamp Engineers of Tomorrow Endowed Scholarship Fund for undergraduates.

Dave Lamp has 34 years of experience in the petroleum-refining industry, including technical, operations, commercial and senior management endeavors. In March 2014, he was appointed CEO and president of Northern Tier Energy. He previously served as the senior vice president and chief operating officer for HollyFrontier Corp., and held a variety of senior management positions with HollyFrontier since 2004.

The Lamp endowments will be managed by MSU’s Office of Investments and Financial Management. Different from other gifts, the total amount of the endowment is invested and a portion of the income will be available for spending each year while the remainder will be reinvested to grow the fund and safeguard against inflation.

MSU’s long-term investment returns have performed ahead of peer institutions for the one-, five- and 10-year periods that ended June 30, 2013. The median college and university investment was 8.0 percent at 10 years, while MSU’s was 8.6 percent.

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