3M Co. boosted its contribution to the University of Minnesota's STEM and business education programs by another $8 million, company officials announced Tuesday.
The new commitment, which will support scholarship and outreach programs, brings 3M's total investment to the U's 10-year Driven campaign to $26 million.
The campaign launched in 2011 with a goal of raising $4 billion by 2021 for students, faculty, education, research and outreach. Earlier this year, the Robina Foundation donated $25 million to the effort.
By increasing its contribution Tuesday, 3M officials said their goal was to help build a solid pipeline of diverse and global talent and to prepare university students well for careers in STEM fields such as science, technology, engineering and math.
Kim Price, president of the 3M Foundation, said the new gift to the school "reflects our ongoing commitment to the University of Minnesota, STEM and business education. Investing in our students today ensures a solid foundation for our scientists, business leaders and community of the future."
U President Eric Kaler said the Maplewood manufacturing giant is the school's largest and longest-standing partner.
"3M helped shape my own future as a scientist and a leader, and, with today's newest wide-ranging investments, together we will continue to drive Minnesota's culture of innovation, support a critically needed K-12 STEM pipeline and educate the next generation of leaders," Kaler said. "The university and 3M are ideal partners enhancing the vitality of this state while making a real difference across the globe."
3M has supported education and the sciences for decades, donating nearly $120 million in cash and products to the U, the company said. The gifts have included scholarships, investments in building campaigns and mentorship programs.
Most of 3M's support has been directed toward the College of Science and Engineering and the Carlson School of Management, Price said.