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SLU to use $1 million donation to research human motivation

A SLU alumnus and former faculty member made the donation
Credit: KSDK

ST. LOUIS — Saint Louis University has announced that it will use a $1 million dollar donation from a Unversity alumnus on psychology research

The university will use this funding to research human motivation.

SLU alumnus and former faculty member Robert Wheeler Sr., Ph.D. donated the money, leading the university to create The Wheeler Endowed OntosScience research fund.

Inspired by the Greek word “ontos,” the fund will advance research about basic human motivation — the innate human drive to find meaning, purpose and explanation of life, according to a press release from the university. Learning opportunities related to the topic will be made available to students, including graduate psychology research, graduate psychology assistantships, seminars, courses and workshops.

Wheeler earned his Doctorate in Psychology at SLU after serving 20 years in the military where he developed interests in people's perspectives on meaning and purpose in their lives. He then went on to have a 20-year career at the University, serving in multiple different positions

“Saint Louis University is producing more than just academic degrees,” Wheeler said. “I’ve been associated with a number of universities, and I think that the overall goal of SLU is outstanding. I think that SLU has the potential of being a real leader in both research and orienting people toward what’s really important in life.”


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