Couple donate $1 million to create new chemical engineering research lab at KU

photo by: Contributed photo

Richard Hoover, left, and Elizabeth Hoover donated $1 million to the University of Kansas School of Engineering to established a chemical engineering research lab. The couple attended KU, both graduating in 1971.

A $1 million gift from a University of Kansas alumni couple will help KU’s School of Engineering establish a new chemical engineering research lab.

Richard and Elizabeth Hoover, of Northport, Mich., made the donation to fund the creation of the Richard H. Hoover Chemical Engineering Applied Research Laboratory, which Richard hopes will give the students more hands-on experience, according to a KU news release.

“I was looking for an opportunity to do something to bridge the academic experience at KU with the applied outside world to help better prepare students for what they would encounter on the job,” Richard said.

Alan Allgeier, associate professor of chemical and petroleum engineering at KU, said he was grateful for the Hoovers’ support.

“This gift allows us to plan long-term programs in our laboratories and to purchase specialized equipment that (will) give our students marketable, industry-relevant skills,” Allgeier said.

Richard, who is originally from St. Louis, received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from KU in 1971. His wife, Elizabeth, who is from New York City, received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from KU the same year.

Richard spent his career working in several positions for the manufacturing company Dow Corning, finishing his career in 2002 after serving as the CEO of Dow Corning Asia in Tokyo for six years.

Elizabeth worked for the Kansas Geological Survey while she was a student at KU. She later worked for the pharmaceutical company Hoffman-La Roche in New York as an analytical chemist until they started their family. They have a son and a daughter.

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