LARAMIE — Yet another state-matched, seven-figure industry gift to the University of Wyoming came forward yesterday.
ExxonMobil announced Feb. 7 it is contributing $2.5 million to provide lab equipment for UW's new Center for Advanced Oil and Gas Technologies. While ExxonMobil's gift is part of $10.9 million in donations to the university announced Jan. 18, the company's name was not at that time attached to the amount. This donation comes right on the heels of two January contributions totaling $6.4 million: $4.4 million from Hess Corp.
and $2 million from Ultra Petroleum
Additionally, the University of Wyoming Foundation has also recently received $1 million from Marathon Oil Corp., $500,000 from Shell and $500,000 from Baker-Hughes.
The donations come as part of a broad push to transform the Wyoming College of Engineering into a "tier 1" research institution. The university and the state have collaborated to get such donations on the table. In fact, ExxonMobil's $2.5 million will be matched by state funds set aside for the purpose, doubling the contribution to $5 million. The state has $15 million available for matching funds.
Gov. Matt Mead personally traveled to company headquarters in Houston last year to solicit the donation from Randy Broiles, vice president, Americas, ExxonMobil Production Co., according to Mead's spokesman Renny MacKay. ExxonMobil is just one of many oil companies to receive a visit from the governor, MacKay said.
"This contribution is part of our commitment to support math and science education and technological advancement in the field of energy," Broiles said in a release. "We believe that by investing in Wyoming's higher education, an even greater number of students will be able to contribute to the next generation of energy development."
Mead called this and other industry contributions "encouraging."
"This shows confidence in the university, the state and the people of our state," he said. "I thank ExxonMobil for this generous gift — its impact is major and should not be understated."
Ben Blalock, UW Foundation president, said the university takes pride in the donation.
"ExxonMobil's partnership with UW is another defining statement regarding the importance of the university's advanced energy agenda," he said.
ExxonMobil's donation will support science and technology education programs at the University of Wyoming, including research into technologies that improve production and recovery of oil and gas. The contribution will go toward expanding UW's Improved Recovery Program.
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