The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center has received a $25 million gift from Jack and Susan Taylor to create the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels. The Institute is named for the company founded by Jack Taylor in 1957 and still owned by the Taylor family.
The Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute will expand the scientific expertise of the Danforth Center to speed up development of plant-based renewable biofuels. The $25 million gift will endow a team of researchers to expand the Danforth Center’s renewable bio-fuels research capabilities. It comes on the heels of Enterprise’s pledge to underwrite the planting of 50 million trees in national forests over the next 50 years—a commitment of $50 million in today’s dollars.
A scientific leader with strong credentials in renewable biofuels research will be recruited to direct the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute. The Danforth Center will also recruit 12 additional new scientists during the next three years who will join 18 current Danforth scientists to engage in research at the Institute.
This is the second sizable gift the Taylor family has made to the Danforth Center, and it completes the Center’s Campaign for a Green Future, a $100 million campaign launched in 2004 with a $50 million matching grant from the Danforth Foundation. In September 2005, Jack and Susan Taylor gave $10 million to the Center, which was at that time the largest gift to the campaign. The $25 million gift will be matched by the Danforth Foundation, thus completing the initial round of fundraising for the endowment.