Dallas-based Energy Transfer executive chairman Kelcy Warren was proud to donate $12 million to his alma mater’s school of engineering to support the development of a new program that will help soon-to-be engineers prepare for careers in the modern engineering sector.

The 1978 Texas Longhorn graduate majored in civil engineering, and today, he’s giving back to provide support to the school’s next generation of engineers. The money donated by Kelcy Warren will be used to fund research and develop new faculty positions for the school’s new resource and energy engineering degree.

The bachelor’s degree program is scheduled to launch this fall. The only program of its kind currently available in the United States, students will learn engineering principles, then apply them to a variety of energy principles, including generation, storage, conversion, and distribution systems.

Kelcy Warren released a statement sharing his excitement at UTA’s development of the new major, and how glad he was to have the chance to give back. 

“I am honored to give back to the institution that has played such a pivotal role in advancing my educational and professional journeys. Texas faces a critical need for highly skilled graduates who can manage energy resources, and this innovative REE program will help meet that demand,” Warren said.

According to University of Texas at Arlington engineering dean Peter Crouch, Warren’s generosity “will accelerate our ability to produce a pipeline of talented engineers who are ready to make an immediate impact in the dynamic energy sector.”

Warren’s name will become even more recognizable on campus as the university works to honor his donation. In addition to providing funds for undergraduate research, the donation will also allow UTA to create three new endowed faculty positions, develop new laboratory space, create a career experience center for students to get a taste of what their work lives will be like post-graduation, and to develop scholarships and fellowships for both students working toward their bachelor’s degree and those who are working toward graduate degrees. 

Warren’s donation will also allow undergraduate students to gain real-world research experience, helping them actively contribute to the science behind their chosen field. 

This isn’t Warren’s first time giving back to UTA. Over 25 years, the billionaire donated $4 million to UTA. One of his gifts allowed the university to establish a graduate student fellowship in honor of his former professor and mentor, Dr. Syed Qasim. 

Of Dr. Qasim, Warren said, “Dr. Qasim was good to me. One of the reasons I support UT Arlington is that it has professors like him who take a personal interest in students.”

Warren founded Energy Transfer in 1996. Today, the company moves about 30% of oil and gas in the United States with more than 120,000 miles of pipeline.

Warren is a self-made billionaire who got his start sweeping the floor at Sun Oil, the energy business where his father worked as a supply clerk. According to Warren, his mother was responsible for his drive to succeed at UTA, as it was paramount to her that her children attend college. 

“She pounded that into our heads from the very beginning,” Warren said of his mother. “My older brother was the first person to receive a college education in our entire family.”

The Energy Transfer headquarters is located in Dallas-Fort Worth, where Warren has also made significant philanthropic contributions, including a 2012 $10 million donation to the city that led to the naming of Dallas’ deck park after Warren’s son, Klyde. Seven years later, Warren donated another $20 million to the city for the expansion of the park. 

As of 2022, Warren was listed as one of the richest people in America, with a net worth of nearly $5 billion. 

By Manali