5 3 16 Fenton Gift News Story

Dennis and Linda Fenton Donate Generous Gift to KGI

Keck Graduate Institute’s (KGI) Amgen Bioprocessing Center (ABC) recently received a pledge of $3 million from Dennis and Linda Fenton. The donation, officially the Fenton Bioprocessing Leadership (FBL) gift, will be used to stimulate innovation in bioprocessing education at KGI.

The gift’s purpose is to drive the growth and national prominence of the ABC through the matriculation of highly qualified students who major in bioprocessing technology at both the master’s and PhD levels. Gift funds will be used to develop the FBL Center for Research & Training and to transform and expand the existing ABC into a state-of-the-art facility for training the next generation of scientists. Funds may also be allocated to attract and retain distinguished faculty, as well as purchase necessary equipment and supplies to ensure that bioprocessing continues to be a growing and major focus at KGI.

KGI President Sheldon M. Schuster said: “KGI is extremely grateful for and appreciative of the continued generosity of Dennis and Linda Fenton. The breadth and quality of the education programs in bioprocessing at KGI is outstanding, and this gift will encourage advancement of these and future programs for the benefit of the KGI community and the bioprocessing industry.”

KGI has developed the FBL Center for Research & Training’s strategic plan, which includes the following thematic/programmatic areas:

  1. Development of next-generation platforms for proteins and monoclonal antibodies
  2. Bioprocessing of emerging therapeutics, including stem cells and gene therapy
  3. Bioprocess integration, modeling, and simulation
  4. CMC regulatory and quality
  5. Financial aid opportunities for qualified students

Additionally, the FBL gift will nurture growth of new areas at KGI, including short-term visiting fellows and scholars (from FDA, industry, and overseas) and short-term postdoctoral researchers working on targeted strategic areas.

Dr. Parviz Shamlou, the George B. and Joy Rathmann Professor and director of the ABC, said the gift will help transform KGI’s bioprocessing programs and the ABC into a world-class education center for 21st century biopharmaceuticals and biologics. “The Fentons have enabled the ABC, along with KGI, to plan for a future that can support the innovative approach we have always hoped to pursue,” he said. “Thanks to this gift, students can come to KGI and the ABC with confidence that the education they receive will prepare them for rewarding careers in the bioprocessing industry.”

The Fentons’ support of KGI and its mission to provide students with a world-class education is not new. In 2011, the Fentons pledged $500,000 to KGI’S Annual Fund, and in 2005 they endowed the George B. and Joy Rathmann Professorship.

Dennis M. Fenton is a former executive vice president at Amgen and currently sits on a number of public and private corporate boards, as well as being a vice chair of the KGI Board of Trustees. He and his wife, Linda, have focused their philanthropic energies on scientific education and childhood literacy.