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Richard S. Reynolds Foundation gift will enhance WKU geology program

Richard S. Reynolds Foundation gift will enhance WKU geology program

WKU announced Tuesday (Feb. 5) that it has received a gift of $120,000 from the Richard S. Reynolds Foundation of Richmond, Va., made in honor of William G. Reynolds, who had local business ties in the western Kentucky area.

A gift from the Richard S. Reynolds Foundation (WKU photo by Clinton Lewis)

A gift from the Richard S. Reynolds Foundation helped establish the William G. Reynolds Geological Resources Laboratory at WKU. (WKU photo by Clinton Lewis)

According to Dr. David Keeling, Head of WKU’s Department of Geography and Geology, the funds will expand the Geology program and establish the William G. Reynolds Geological Resources Laboratory in the University’s Environmental Science and Technology Building.

“The Reynolds Foundation gift will help the WKU Geology program provide instruction in the latest methods and techniques that are transforming the natural resource industries,” Keeling said. “The Department is deeply appreciative of the Reynolds Foundation for providing this opportunity to transform our instructional laboratories so that we can train the geoscience leaders of the future.”

Dr. Michael May, Professor of Geology in the Department of Geography and Geology, said the generous gift of the Reynolds Foundation to the Department is greatly appreciated by faculty and students.

“The establishment of the William G. Reynolds Geological Resources Laboratory directly impacts the competitiveness of the WKU Geology Program by providing training for future geologists,” he said.  “Such training is typically only available at much larger universities, particularly in the oil and gas-rich states such as Texas and Oklahoma.  WKU students will be working in a state-of-the-art facility learning how to collect and manage geologic data available both online and from the field.  Use of various software integrating geologic, engineering and economic aspects of oil and gas, minerals, building stone and aggregate resources are all a great part of this laboratory.  These are all resources that have and will continue to greatly aid in the overall economic development of south central Kentucky, and we are excited that our students can play a highly significant role in the development of these resources.”

William Florman, Vice President of Reynolds Raw Materials, said his grandfather, William G. Reynolds, for whom the laboratory will be named, was very active in the western Kentucky area.

“I was very excited about this project, because I felt like it was something that would be very beneficial to the area and something that would have interested him,” Florman said.  “I am confident the William G. Reynolds Geological Resources Laboratory is something my grandfather would have been excited to help create.”

In 2008, Reynolds Raw Materials dedicated Indian Creek and National Roc, Asphalt Quarries in Edmonson County.  Florman said his grandfather initially purchased the property in the mid-1950s.

“The property is composed of more than 60,000 acres of mineral and mining deeds, as well as several thousand acres of surface,” he said. “The quality of the material and the size of the reserves make Kyrock one of Kentucky’s most abundant natural resources.”

Randolph Reynolds, Vice President of the Richard S. Reynolds Foundation and son of William G. Reynolds, said the Foundation was pleased to make the gift.

“My dad had investments very close to WKU, in Edmonson County, for many years,” he said.  “ We are still working on developing that area and thought this would be a good project.  The Foundation felt good about giving to a good school and investing into that region.”

About William G. Reynolds: Mr. William Gray Reynolds was born on Feb. 17, 1913, in Bristol, Tenn., to Richard Samuel and Julia Louise Reynolds.  He was an independent investor with diverse interests, particularly in oil in Western Kentucky.  Mr. Reynolds was Vice President of Reynolds Metals Company and headed their Research and Development until his death in 1980. He also served as a Trustee of the Richard S. Reynolds Foundation.  He and his wife, Mary Spottswood Reynolds, had four children.

About the Richard S. Reynolds Foundation: The Richard S. Reynolds Foundation is a private, family foundation based in Richmond, Va.  It was established in 1955 by Julia Louise Reynolds following the death of her husband, Richard S. Reynolds, the founder of Reynolds Metals Company and inventor of Reynolds Aluminum Wrap. Over the years, the Foundation has provided grants to all levels of education, the arts, historical preservation, environmental protection, health and medical research and human services.

Contact: Michael May, (270) 745-6891.

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 Last Modified 9/24/14