Former NBA owners donates millions to Gund Institute

MAX MCCURDY | The Vermont Cynic
The Gund Institute, which is located at the Johnson House, is pictured.

UVM announced that with a new $6 million donation, the Gund Institute will be expanded to the entire University.

The current Gund Institute for Ecological Economics will be expanded and renamed as the Gund Institute for Environment.

The expansion will involve more interdisciplinary work across departments and colleges, focusing on issues targeted by the United Nations in its Sustainable Development Goals, essentially the U.N.’s worldwide goals for the next 10 years.

“It’s an exciting investment, and I think it will really help UVM’s prestige among environmental institutions,” said first-year Will Kelleher, who is in the Rubenstein School for the Environment and Natural Resources. “This kind of thing is exactly why I came to UVM.”

The U.N.’s goals focus on increased climate change action and clean energy, according to the U.N.’s website.  

These goals correlate with current UVM projects and the heritage of UVM’s environmental leadership in education and research, according to UVM’s website.

In the past, the Gund Institute has focused on combining disciplines from across the University, with Gund chairs in many departments and across colleges, from the political science department in the College of Arts and Sciences to community development and applied economics in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

“Satisfying human needs without destroying nature is our generation’s defining challenge,” said Taylor Ricketts, the founding director of the Gund Institute at UVM and the Gund professor for RSENR.


UVM also plans to take advantage of this development in order to become a highly productive place for research and promotion of environmental activity and sustainability, Provost David Roskowsky said.


“The Gund Institute for Environment brings the entire campus together to leverage these core strengths to accelerate research and solve the urgent environmental challenges facing Vermont, our nation and our world,” President Tom Sullivan said in a statement.