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Saint Mary’s receives $1.5 million to enhance science, business

July 13, 2013

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WINONA, Minn. — With a recent $1.5 million donation, Betty Kabara—current trustee and longtime supporter of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota—is enhancing and furthering the university’s science and business initiatives.

Through her generosity and partnership, Kabara, a resident of Galena, Ill., will help Saint Mary’s prepare tomorrow’s students to meet the challenges and demands of the future.

This transformational gift will be used to:

  • establish a Dr. Jon ’48 and Betty Kabara Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship and Innovation;
  • build the Dr. Jon ’48 and Betty Kabara Chemistry Lab, a premier organic/inorganic laboratory promoting chemistry in the new Science and Learning Center on the Winona Campus; and
  • create the new Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies Office Suite in the Adducci Science Center’s Hoffman Hall, also on the Winona Campus.
Betty Kabara

With the Adducci Science Center Hoffman Hall revitalization project, Saint Mary’s is bringing together two strong academic areas of the university, business and science. Innovation occurs at the crossroads of business and science, and the late Jon Kabara’s life is a prime example of this. As the founder of Med-Chem Labs, Inc., Jon was a successful and dedicated man of business and science. Betty, an entrepreneur in her own right and currently CEO of Med-Chem Labs, is equally committed to this dream. Expanding and upgrading these facilities will provide opportunities to foster interdisciplinary education and creativity—tools that are invaluable for today’s students and tomorrow’s leaders.

The Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship and Innovation will be the catalyst for the study of entrepreneurship and innovation at Saint Mary’s. The individual, holding a faculty appointment, will serve as the university’s full-time director of the Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies. The goal of this institute, established by the Kabaras in 2005, is to incite a passion for entrepreneurial spirit in students across the university, as well as to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of the importance of entrepreneurship in our society. The Kabara Institute currently offers a wide array of activities and programs to engage students in entrepreneurship. The endowed chair will build on current programming and expand opportunities for involvement at the graduate level. Additionally, the endowed chair will teach a series of courses related to the topics of entrepreneurship and innovation each semester to students across the university, regardless of major.

The Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies Office Suite will be relocated in the revitalized hall, and the suite will provide the Dr. Jon ’48 and Betty Kabara Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship and Innovation an open and inviting space and will foster faculty and student interaction, coaching, and mentoring, all of which are hallmarks of a Saint Mary’s undergraduate experience. The strategic location of this unique space will serve as the center for entrepreneurial studies. Located adjacent to the new high-tech Marketing Intelligence Center and Sales Training Centers, students and guests will feel at home in an environment which promotes innovative and entrepreneurial thinking.

The Jon ’48 and Betty Kabara Chemistry Lab will be designed to promote chemistry discovery, innovation, and project-based learning. The premier lab in the Science and Learning Center is structured to foster scientific discovery with a flexible configuration, piped services, fume hoods, and state-of-the-art scientific research equipment.

“The Kabaras have long been instrumental partners in enhancing the student experience at Saint Mary’s,” said Brother William Mann, president of Saint Mary’s. “Tomorrow’s successful business and science leaders and entrepreneurs need ethical and vigorous training, state-of-the art facilities, and valuable mentoring. We are extremely grateful for Betty’s generosity and her extraordinary vision in these endeavors.”