The has announced a $16 million gift from the family of alumnus Donald Slawson ('55) toward construction of a facility in the university’s planned Earth, Energy and Environment Center.
To be named Slawson Hall, the building will be dedicated to facilitating technology transfer and developing real-world applications for discoveries made at the university. The center itself will include auditoriums, classrooms, laboratories, and multipurpose spaces designed to foster cross-disciplinary collaboration among researchers in numerous earth science and energy fields, including geology, engineering, geophysics, nanotechnology, energy storage, and the environment. The gift also will count toward the university's $1.2 billion fundraising campaign.
Slawson, who died on July 7, was founder of Slawson Exploration, an oil and gas exploration firm that became one of the most active oil drilling operations in the United States and later expanded into residential and commercial real estate development. Slawson was appointed by Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush to serve on the National Petroleum Council; served two terms on the Kansas Board of Regents and was chair from 1987 to 1993; and served as president of the KU Alumni Association and of KU's Athletic Board. His wife and two of his sons also attended the university.
"The Slawson family is extremely grateful that the University of Kansas has named the new Slawson Hall to honor Don’s long legacy of furthering the Kansas energy industry," said Todd Slawson, his youngest son. "The Slawson family has cherished KU for five generations. It is a fitting tribute that Slawson Hall will house and integrate both geology and petroleum engineering curricula, noting Don’s passion for the oil industry and higher education."