$2.5 million to support chemical engineering

Denise and Dave Lamp provided $2.5 million to enhance chemical engineering through an endowed chair and additional scholarships. Dave is a 1980 chemical engineering graduate from MSU.March 26, 2014

The Michigan State University College of Engineering will use a $2.5 million gift from Dave and Denise Lamp of Dallas to support STEM 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," she added.

Leo Kempel, acting dean of the College of Engineering, said he is grateful to the Lamps for their extraordinary leadership and generosity. “A gift of this magnitude can have a transformational impact on the college’s ability to attract top faculty members and students of high potential,” Kempel said. “We thank David and Denise for investing in our students and for advancing our college in such significant ways.”

Martin Hawley, chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, said the addition of an endowed chair is an excellent opportunity to expand scientific initiatives in the department.

“This important gift arrives during a time of strong momentum for us,” Hawley explained. “We are enthused that in 2013 the National Science Foundation granted three prestigious CAREER Awards to help young faculty members branch out into new research areas. This new endowed chair adds to our ability to contribute to the advancement of chemical engineering at the national level.”

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, and added support for graduate fellowships in 2012.

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 are managed by the MSU Office of Investments and Financial Management.