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$4.6 Million Gift Will Support MU Geology Department

Nov. 10, 2008

Story Contact:  Emily Smith, (573) 882-3346,

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Ever since he can remember, Robert Weiser has been interested in fossils, minerals and rocks. Weiser studied geology at the University of Missouri; had a successful career that included geological, engineering and management positions for Exxon Mobil; owned a consulting business; and traveled throughout the country and the world. Now, he is investing in his alma mater by donating $4.6 million to the Department of Geological Sciences in the MU College of Arts and Science. From the donation, 75 percent will support research, faculty, undergraduate and graduate students in the department; 25 percent will fund scholarships for Hermann High School graduates that attend MU.

"When I was seven, my mom said that I should study geology; that was the first time I had heard of it, and I knew it was what I wanted to do," Weiser said. "While earning my geology degrees at MU, I was taught by some of the best teachers in the world. I greatly admired and appreciated them. The education and experience I gained at MU has helped me succeed in my career. My mom used to say that education was important - people can lose everything, but an education is something that is never lost."

Weiser and his wife, Sue, made the donation to the department to benefit research, faculty and students interested in geology. The donation also will support Hermann High School, which Weiser attended, by establishing an MU scholarship for students who are pursuing geology, physical sciences and other related fields.

"Robert and Sue Weiser have a true passion for education, and we are excited and very appreciative of this gift to the MU Department of Geological Sciences," MU Chancellor Brady Deaton said. "Their generous gift will enhance research and create exciting opportunities for our students and faculty."

The couple has had five children, Brad, Scott, Sherri, Stacey and Lance. Weiser received his bachelor's degree from MU in 1958 and his master's degree from MU in 1960.

"Investing in students is like investing in the stock market," Weiser said. "If you educate someone, then they are educated for life. Hopefully, the investment will pay dividends, and those students will be able to invest in the world and in other students for many years."

The Robert N. "Bud" Weiser Endowed Geology Research Fund supports the For All We Call Mizzou campaign, which has raised $1,000,300,000 for MU since 2000.  The campaign enhances MU's ability to compete nationally and internationally for the best students and faculty and provides broad access for students of all economic backgrounds to Missouri's flagship University. The campaign concludes Dec. 31, 2008.