An alumnus donation will establish the first endowed faculty professorship at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s Department of Chemical Engineering. The school says John and Anne Swearingen’s $2 million donation will also support laboratory and technology improvements for the department.

Rose-Hulman has renamed the department’s High Bay Laboratory of Olin Hall in the couple’s honor.

John Swearingen graduated from Rose-Hulman in 1981 and retired in 2020 as vice president of logistics and storage for Marathon Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: MPC).

“Rose-Hulman laid a solid foundation for my professional success and our journey over the decades. We’ve been incredibly blessed and believe this is a way for us to give back to a place that is so special,” said John, who now lives in Tennessee with Anne. “Rose-Hulman’s commitment to excellence has been hallmark of the college. We’re so proud to help the college maintain that strong commitment in helping students succeed in their careers and life.” 

Rose-Hulman President Robert Coons says the Swearingen’s donation will help the institute retain its status as one of the country’s top undergraduate STEM colleges.

“We’re appreciative that John and Anne have been faithful supporters of Rose-Hulman and our students,” said Coons. “Now, the couple will assist our faculty in bringing innovative skills into our classrooms and laboratories. They also will be helping our Department of Chemical Engineering remain on the cutting edge of technology and other educational resources as we begin the strategic planning process of examining how to meet future challenges.”

The institute says the new endowed professorship will honor members of the Rose-Hulman faculty for accomplishments outside of the school and support their professional activity in national and international scholarship circles.