Kelcy Warren recently bestowed $12 million to his alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), making it the largest philanthropic gift to the school ever. The gift will be used to fund a new engineering program at the school, known as resource and energy engineering (REE). See how his gift will be divided and why it was so important for Warren to donate. 

A Critical Need

As the executive chairman of Energy Transfers, this former student is also sometimes called the pipeline king. If anyone knows about the energy sector in Texas, it’s him. In a public statement, he spoke about the critical need for skilled graduates who can map out the future of the field and how companies can take steps to protect the environment without hindering progress. He talked about how much value these professionals will add, both now and in the future. 

Warren graduated from UTA in 1978, and he considered it an honor to give to an institution that had propelled him to a lucrative and rewarding career. He said that the REE program was not only an innovative nod to what the industry needed, it was also a way to meet the ongoing growing demand in his home state. 

Endowments, Scholarships, and Lab Space 

Kelcy Warren’s gift will be used for faculty and students alike. His name will be associated with several endowed positions, a lab built for the REE students, and a career experience center. As the world moves toward renewable energy, his gift will be used to fund research into alternative fuels. Graduate and undergraduate students can apply for scholarships and fellowships based on their merit in the field as well as their passion for advancing the sector. 

Accelerating a Pipeline 

The new program will start in the fall of 2023, and UTA’s engineering dean, Peter Crouch, is excited about the program’s short-term and long-term benefits. He said that UTA was ready to make an immediate impact by training an ongoing pipeline of bright engineers. Students will learn how to generate and convert energy. They’ll learn the most efficient ways to store and distribute it. Students will also have the chance to develop their own opinions, tactics, and strategies on how best to supply fuel to different communities. As the world’s needs change, engineers will need to adapt to keep up with the consumption patterns. 

Kelcy Warren in the Industry 

Kelcy Warren started in the oil and gas industry at a very young age, but his path to earning a net worth of $4.8 billion was not straightforward. After getting several odd jobs as a teenager, he would transition into being a repairman and a pipeline constructor. He would struggle with his first attempt at college, and eventually drop out of school. 

However, his family had always instilled the importance of education into him, and he would eventually go to junior college before getting his engineering degree. He received several accolades for his talent in the field, including a scholarship from the National Science Foundation and an award for his work in methane gas production. 

He co-founded Energy Transfer in 1996, which controls around a third of the US’s oil and natural gas. Warren has taken his wealth and given back however he can. In addition to expanding the public parks in Dallas, he’s been a consistent contributor to UTA. Before giving his most recent $12 million, he had given a total of $4 million to UTA over the past 25 years. He set up a graduate student fellowship for promising talent, and he named it after Syed Qasim. Qasim was not only a professor at UTA, hewas also the mentor to Warren, and a large part of his success. 

Warren started from humble beginnings in a small town of Texas. His father was a high school graduate and ditchdigger who eventually worked his way up to field work. His mother worked in a department store, and she never finished high school. She was the one who pushed her four children to go to college. Warren credits his involved and hard-working parents for his eventual success. 

Learn more about Kelcy Warren here:

By Manali