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Named After the Late CEO of Dunn-Edwards Paints®

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (November 14, 2013) California Polytechnic State University's new Kenneth N. Edwards Western Coatings Technology Center (WCTC) opened for classes in September, and was officially dedicated this month. It was named after the late Kenneth N. Edwards, former CEO of Dunn-Edwards Paints®, in recognition of his tremendous efforts in helping to fund the project. Edwards passed away in February of this year.

Generously funded by $2.5 million in private donations from the polymers and coatings industry, the WCTC includes the following leading-edge facilities:

  • Dunn-Edwards Coatings Formulation Facilities
  • Behr Process Polymer Synthesis Laboratory
  • Instrumental Analysis Laboratory
  • Kenneth N. Edwards Conference Room

The modern laboratories in the WCTC will greatly expand efforts in the education of future polymers and coatings professionals, and in industry-sponsored research. Cal Poly offers the only polymers and coatings program in the West and is one of the nation's most selective public universities. The WCTC will provide a place for creative students to learn and do important, real-world research with their faculty and industry mentors.

“It's a very exciting time to be a part of the polymers and coatings program at Cal Poly,” said Ray Fernando, Arthur C. Edwards Endowed Chair in Polymers and Coatings. “Ken and his industry partners have given a tremendous gift to our students, the university, and the coatings industry at large. These expanded facilities will allow us to capitalize on so many more opportunities for enhanced education and research.”

Ken Edwards was deeply involved with Cal Poly's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and its coatings and polymers program for more than 25 years. He provided the lead gift to establish the Arthur C. Edwards Endowed Chair for Coatings Technology and Ecology, named in honor of his father who was a co-founder of the Dunn-Edwards Corporation. The department currently offers an undergraduate degree program with a concentration in coatings science and polymers, as well as an industry-focused master's degree in the same area. For more information, visit the WCTC site.