Bill Klesse added, “Margie and I appreciate the difference UTSA College of Engineering and Integrated Design is making to South Texas students and their families. The university and college create an environment where all students are challenged. with great academic rigor, but also supported to help find their way to success. The future will continue to present many challenges to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy supplies, as well as built infrastructure, and we need these new emerging engineers and designers help us create solutions that will benefit all members of our communities ”.
Klesses’ gift will enable the College of Engineering and Integrated Design to expand scholarship support for students, create endowments for faculty recruitment and retention, and support student success. These support programs include those offered by the college’s Student Success Center, which offers mentoring, hands-on learning opportunities, leadership and professional development programs to all college students.
“We are deeply grateful to Margie and Bill Klesse. They have always been deeply committed to providing world-class opportunities for UTSA students and members of the engineering and design faculty, “said UTSA president. Taylor Eighty. “This incredibly generous gift will advance UTSA’s vision of becoming a model for student success and a major public research university. I am so happy for our College of Engineering and Integrated Design; this gift will expand our innovative academic and research programs in the college, preparing graduates to change the world. “
In 2005, Margie and Bill Klesse founded the Klesse Foundation to support scientific, educational, cultural, religious and other charitable organizations in San Antonio. Seven years later, they provided support for the Diamond Shamrock Legacy Endowed Scholarship within UTSA College of Engineering. Since the scholarship began, 15 UTSA students have collectively received over $ 22,000 in support of their education.
In 2017, the Klesse Foundation donated $ 1 million to UTSA to set up the Klesse Unit Operational Laboratory so that a new chemical engineering program could be established. This gift enabled the university to acquire state-of-the-art equipment, including a two-story distillation column that attracted national attention, and to create the Margie and Bill Klesse Scholarship in Chemical Engineering, which benefited 10 students with the best performance. The first cohort of 16 students graduated from UTSA with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in May 2021, and 154 are currently enrolled in the program.
“The support of Bill and Margie Klesse has enabled UTSA to offer unprecedented education and valuable hands-on learning opportunities to students that prepare them for careers in this innovative industry,” said Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs. Kimberly Andrews Spy. “Their gift has a particular impact at UTSA, a Hispanic service institution that is forming a diverse community of leaders and critical thinkers well equipped for the workforce of tomorrow.”
Bill and Margie Klesse met in the cafeteria while they were students at Dayton University. Bill Klesse was studying chemical engineering, following in the footsteps of his father, who was a mechanical engineer. Margie was studying chemistry. Today Bill Klesse sits on the university’s board of directors.
In 1969, Bill Klesse joined Diamond Shamrock as a junior process engineer. The company then became Valero. He built his career there and was progressively promoted, eventually becoming CEO and Vice President in 2006. A year later, he was named CEO and President, positions he would hold until his retirement from Valero in 2014.
Currently, Klesse is a director of Houston-based Occidental Petroleum, where he sits on the company’s compensation and environment, health and safety committees. He is also director of Calgary-based MEG Energy, where he focuses on sustainable development and oil sands production in Alberta’s Lake Christina region.
Klesse and his wife remain active in San Antonio, where they continue to support the city’s health leaders, including the UT Health San Antonio Alzheimer’s Institute, San Antonio’s Christus Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital, and the Cancer Therapy and Research Center.
They also dedicate their time to local nonprofits. Bill Klesse is a trustee of the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County, and the Briscoe Western Art Museum. He serves on the advisory board for the San Antonio Food Bank and the Christus Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital of San Antonio Foundation Board. Margie Klesse is a member of the Mays Cancer Center Board of Governors for UT Health San Antonio, a former member and vice president of the Cancer Center Council Board of Trustees, which supports the Cancer Therapy and Research Center, and past chair of the Poinsettia Ball, an annual fundraiser in favor of the Friends of Hospice San Antonio.
UTSA College of Engineering and Integrated Design builds on a history of interdisciplinary collaboration at UTSA and within industry. It was established this fall by combining the academic departments and teaching, learning, research and outreach programs of the university’s College of Engineering and College of Architecture, Construction and Planning.
The new college is administratively organized into two schools: one which includes Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering and Construction Management and a second which includes Architecture and Planning. It also houses three departments: biomedical and chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, and electrical and computer engineering. The college is home to approximately 4,300 students, 120 faculty members and 40 staff members and is becoming a destination for top postdoctoral faculty and researchers.
The college is a key component of UTSA’s 10-year strategic plan for advancing classroom-to-career initiatives.
“The College of Engineering and Integrated Design is training the next generation of leaders, led by nationally recognized classroom and laboratory experts in their fields,” he said. Giovanna Browning, dean of the college. “By enabling our students to learn through an integrated approach that combines engineering and design, UTSA graduates will have the competitive knowledge and skills they need to address the challenges their industries are currently facing and will be in a better position to develop. innovative solutions for their employers, their community and San Antonio. This gift from Margie and Bill Klesse will be a key component in realizing our vision for college and we are incredibly honored for their continued generosity and support. “
“The impact of this magnificent gift will reverberate far beyond UTSA as graduates of the Margie and Bill Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design will join a workforce that needs more skilled engineers to improve our communities and make them better places in to live, “UT System Chancellor James B. Milliken She said. “This gift is synonymous with opportunity because it will nurture both student success and community success.”