Mizzou alumnus honors family with $1.7 million in recent gifts

October 24, 2019

Ken Donohew, Dean Loboa, Ellen Kippel

Dean Elizabeth Loboa welcomes Ken Donohew, BS ’67, and Ellen Kippel to the College of Engineering prior to the couple’s major gift announcement.

Today University of Missouri officials announced two gifts from an alumnus and his wife to honor his family’s legacy and long-time support of Missouri’s flagship university. Ken Donohew, a 1967 industrial engineering graduate, and his wife, Ellen Kippel, recently gave $1.7 million, bringing his lifetime giving to more than $3 million.

“At Mizzou, education and innovation are at the heart of everything we do,” MU Chancellor Alexander N. Cartwright said. “We are solving the world’s toughest problems through collaboration, and our students are right at the heart of it. I am thrilled that alumni like Ken are as passionate about Mizzou’s future as I am. Thanks to his support, future generations of students will have access to the high-quality education and training.”

Donohew counts his grandfather, both parents, two aunts, an uncle and a second cousin as fellow MU alumni. He credits his father, Major Jack Donohew, and his uncle Paul Zollman for his desire to financially support the university and his support of education.

With a $1.4 million gift, Donohew and Kippel established the Major General Jack N. Donohew Fund for Diversity and Inclusion in Engineering to honor Ken’s father. Jack Donohew earned a chemical engineering degree from MU in 1933 before a long and distinguished career in the Air War College and Air Command and Staff College.

In addition to their support of engineering, Donohew and Kippel honored Donohew’s uncle, Paul Zollman, with a $310,000 gift to the Paul E. Zollman Fund for Shelter Medicine Program. The College of Veterinary Medicine will have a plaque recognizing Dr. Zollman, who was in the first class from the College of Veterinary Medicine to graduate with a doctoral degree in 1950.

“Supporting education — and more importantly, diversity in education — is something my father would want me to do,” Donohew said. “In my family education has always been so important. If we don’t learn, we’re never going to be able to tackle the grand challenges facing our communities. Ellen and I believe that by supporting Mizzou, we are supporting future generations.”

Dean Loboa at gift announcement

Dean Elizabeth Loboa thanks Ken Donohew and Ellen Kippel for their $1.4 million gift to the College of Engineering in support of diversity and inclusion initiatives.

The Office of Diversity and Outreach Initiatives in the MU College of Engineering facilitates the outreach, recruitment, retention and overall success of everyone in the college, especially those from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in engineering.

“As a female leader in engineering, I truly value Ken’s commitment to our vision for a diverse and inclusive College of Engineering,” said Elizabeth Loboa, vice chancellor for strategic partnerships and dean of engineering. “In our college, we are recruiting the best and brightest students from around the world to fuel our atmosphere of excellence and Ken and Ellen’s support will open the door for so many students.”

The Shelter Medicine Program in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine provides care to shelter animals in need and excellent learning opportunities for veterinary students. Through the program, faculty and students provide preventative medicine services and to mid-Missouri animal shelter, those working in the program perform more than 100 surgeries each month.

“Paul Zollman was one of our first graduates, and I couldn’t be prouder that his nephew, Ken Donohew, is honoring his legacy through this gift to our shelter program,” said Carolyn Henry, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “Every veterinary student completes a rotation in shelter medicine before graduation, this accounts for our graduates having performed 15 to 20 more surgeries than they did before the program started.”

Donohew spent his career as an engineer with the Department of Defense and retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Air Force Reserve. Kippel spent her career in group insurance. Now retired, she volunteers with the IRS volunteer income tax assistance program as a site coordinator.