Dasburgs give UF $1.5M to endow chair in engineering


Published: Monday, June 24, 2013 at 2:55 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, June 24, 2013 at 2:55 p.m.

The University of Florida has received a $1.5 million gift to establish a new professorship in the College of Engineering.

UF announced Friday that the gift would be used to create the John H. and Mary Lou Dasburg Chair in Engineering, named after the donors of the gift. The Dasburgs committed the gift in May, UF spokesman Steve Orlando said.

“John and Mary Lou's commitment impacts the role that the College of Engineering can play in not only advancing UF, but in creating the workforce and innovation needed to advance economic development in the state of Florida,” Dean Cammy Abernathy said in a news release.

John and Mary Lou Dasburg are both UF alumni and live in Key Biscayne. John Dasburg has held executive positions with KPMG, Marriott Corp., Burger King and Northwest Airlines. He is chairman and CEO of ASTAR USA LLC. Mary Lou Dasburg earned her law degree from UF.

Their donation shows their ongoing commitment to help UF become a Top 10 university, Orlando said.

The Board of Governors recently gave UF “preeminence” status, a designation created by the Legislature this year that comes with $15 million a year to recruit faculty and develop programs to attain Top 10 status. UF President Bernie Machen has said he would match those public dollars with private donations.

The Dasburgs have donated $8 million to UF to date, Orlando said. They donated $1.5 million in 2005 to establish a professorship in corporate law at the Levin College of Law and gave $1 million in 2008 to create an endowment for scholarships to student athletes. They also gave $1.5 million in 2011 for an endowed business chair, Orlando said.

“A unique characteristic of their investments is that they invest in faculty,” he said. “They are the only donors to UF that have three endowed chairs in three separate units: Business, Engineering and Law.”

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top