A new $100,000 donation to the Kansas University Center for Design Research will support research projects and other start-up costs at the agency.
The funds came from Mark Pigott, chairman and CEO of PACCAR, an international medium- and heavy-duty truck design company headquartered in Bellevue, Wash.
He made the donation in honor of his friend and retiring vice chairman of the company, Tom Plimpton, a 1971 KU alumnus.
After the donation, a large space that serves as a classroom and meeting area will be renamed the Tom Plimpton Innovation Studio.
Greg Thomas, director for the Center for Design Research, said that he was pleased that Pigott did a lot of research in deciding where to place his gift and chose KU.
“All this stuff is about validating what we’ve been doing.”
The Center for Design Research is designed to highlight sustainable and green building technology, and will serve as a space for meetings, conferences and classes.
KU is also in discussions with companies to form research and development partnerships at the center, Thomas said.
In a written statement, Pigott said he made the donation after doing research on the website of the KU Endowment Association.
“Education is important for every person and benefits all society,” said Pigott. “Increasingly complex issues face our nation, and the use of innovation and creative processes are able to generate ideas that can be applicable to a wide array of businesses and social institutions. The innovation center at KU is a national leader in empowering students and faculty to examine many ideas in a nurturing environment.”