University of Kansas Renames Institute for Sustainable Engineering after The Wonderful Company
Recognition Honors University’s Partnership with the Global Agriculture Company, co-founded and led by Stewart and Lynda Resnick
The University of Kansas’ Institute for Sustainable Engineering has a new name—Wonderful Institute for Sustainable Engineering-KU (WISE-KU). The naming builds on the university’s deep relationship with The Wonderful Company, a global agricultural company co-founded and led by Stewart and Lynda Resnick. The Wonderful Company is one of the largest privately held companies in the U.S. whose iconic brands include Wonderful Pistachios, POM Wonderful, FIJI Water, JUSTIN Wines, and more. Along with the renaming comes a $5 million commitment to enable the Institute to promote sustainable engineering initiatives.
“This substantial commitment by The Wonderful Company and Stewart and Lynda Resnick brings together researchers and students from multiple disciplines with industry partners to advance global sustainability through transformational engineering, science, and entrepreneurship,” said Foundation Distinguished Professor Mark B. Shiflett, Founder and Director of the Institute. “We are honored to name our Institute after our partners at Wonderful for their major investment in our Engineering students and university, as well as our ongoing collaboration to create solutions to today’s real-world issues promoting the societal, economic, and environmental benefits of sustainable engineering.”
Assistant Professor Ana Rita C. Morais in the Department of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering and Deputy Director of the Institute stated, “This convergent, inclusive approach fosters and supports innovation resulting in developing, inventing, and patenting novel processes and products that sustainably utilize food, water, and energy by recycling valuable resources while reducing our impact on the environment and protecting our planet.”
“Complex problems require new and novel approaches in order to arrive at workable solutions,” said Douglas A. Girod, Chancellor, University of Kansas. “The Resnicks are prime examples of how creative use of philanthropy can drive university research and discoveries. We’re grateful they’ve chosen to work with our talented faculty and students to solve some of today’s thorniest issues. Their investment, combined with the opportunity to work on real-world challenges, will benefit generations to come.”
The Resnicks have a long history of supporting leading research universities in driving research solutions to solve the world’s most critical environmental challenges across energy, water, food, and the climate. To date, the Resnicks, along with their foundations and The Wonderful Company, have invested nearly $2.6 billion in philanthropy and corporate social responsibility investments globally—in education, wellness, housing, and the arts--with more than $850 million pledged to universities for research and technologies around sustainability.
“Environmental sustainability must be one of the priorities for our planet and is a primary focus of our company’s operations. Succeeding in our efforts to care for our world requires research and innovation – everything from renewable energy and responsible water usage to rethinking pistachio waste,” said Eric Johnson, senior vice president of Capital Projects at The Wonderful Company and proud alumnus of the University of Kansas. The “Wonderful Institute for Sustainable Engineering at KU has taken a novel approach towards exploring new technologies and creating cutting-edge outputs that align with Wonderful’s mission to make our world a safer, healthier, and better home for generations to come.”
In the last five years, The Wonderful Company, which is one of the world’s largest nut processors, has worked in collaboration with WISE-KU researchers to find ways to repurpose 50 million pounds of pistachio shells, which until now went to carbon neutral fuel outlets or accumulated in piles on fallowed farmland. Researchers have found multiple ways to use them, including as an ingredient in animal feed.
Wonderful Institute for Sustainable Engineering (WISE) is advancing global sustainability through transformational engineering, science, and education. WISE aims to focus on creating solutions that can be applied to real world issues promoting the societal, economic, and environmental benefits of sustainable and green engineering.
About The Wonderful Company
The Wonderful Company is a privately held $5 billion global company dedicated to harvesting health and happiness around the world. Its iconic brands include FIJI Water, POM Wonderful, Wonderful Pistachios, Wonderful Halos, Wonderful Seedless Lemons, Teleflora, and JUSTIN, Landmark, and Lewis Cellars wines.
To date, the Resnicks through their foundation, and The Wonderful Company have invested more than $2.5 billion in philanthropy, with more than $1.3 billion invested in environmental sustainability, to help combat climate change and preserve the planet for future generations. As longtime supporters of research and development, the Resnicks aim to create long-term global value through their gifts and open new figurative portals to sustainability in research, education, and society.
To learn more about The Wonderful Company, its products, and its core values, please visit wonderful.com, or follow The Wonderful Company on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. To learn more about the company’s corporate social responsibility impact, visit csr.wonderful.com.