Halliburton Company executive Dave Lesar and his wife Sherry have donated $1 million to Montana Tech to support a professorship, programming, and research, Tech announced Friday.
"The Lesars’ gift is the largest personal endowment ever established at Montana Tech in support of our faculty," said Chancellor Don Blackketter.
Named in honor of Lesar’s parents, the Stan and Joyce Lesar Professorship will enhance Tech’s work in natural resources development.
The professorship may be shared by more than one faculty member as a means of promoting collaboration among faculty members and across disciplines.
Dave Lesar is the chairman and chief executive officer of Halliburton Company, one of the world's largest providers of products and services to the energy industry.
The Lesars have a strong connection to Montana. As young men, Stan and his brother immigrated to East Helena at the end of World War II after they were forced out of communist Yugoslavia.
Tech will use the Lesar Professorship to encourage innovation and excellence in teaching and research by providing a three-year-maximum award to a Tech faculty member or members.
“Their generous gift will allow our top-notch faculty to innovate and share that knowledge and practical application with our students,” said Joe McClafferty, president of the Montana Tech Foundation.
A competitive process will determine the recipients, and Blackketter will select final winners. The award will be based annually on a fixed percentage of the endowment’s value.
“Mr. Lesar has long recognized the impact Montana Tech has in his industry, and we are thrilled to receive the Lesar family’s personal support. This unbelievable gift in honor of Mr. Lesar’s parents will impact our institution in perpetuity.”