U alumnus Robert Gore gives $10 million for Amundson Hall expansion

by Tyler Gieseke

Robert and Jane Gore donated $10 million for the expansion of the University of Minnesota’s Amundson Hall, the University announced Wednesday.

This donation is in addition to $5 million Dow Chemical Company gave last December, according to the University News Service.

Amundson Hall is home to the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, a part of the College of Science and Engineering, University News said. Construction of the 40,000-square-foot expansion will begin early in 2013.

The expansion and upgrades to the current building cost $27.6 million in all. Project funding comes from $15 million in donations, $5.6 million from CSE, and $7 million in University Higher Education Asset Preservation and Restoration funds from the state, University News said.

The addition to Amundson Hall will be called the Gore Annex, and will include four floors above ground and two floors below. The annex is expected to be complete in mid-2014, University News said.

In 1969, Robert W. Gore discovered a new material called ePTFE, an achievement that resulted in products like GORE-TEX and ELIXIR guitar strings, according to the Chemical Heritage Foundation. GORE-TEX fabric is waterproof, windproof, and breathable, and is used in outdoor outerwear.

Gore completed his doctorate in chemical engineering at the University of Minnesota in 1962, the Chemical Heritage Foundation said, and in 1976 became president and CEO of W. L. Gore & Associates, a company his father founded.