About the Werth Institute

The Peter J. Werth Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation links the ecosystem of resources, programs, academic courses, funding, mentorship, education, and activities relating to entrepreneurship and innovation throughout the University. Established in December 2017 thanks to a historic $22.5 million gift from philanthropist and entrepreneur Peter J. Werth, the Institute seeks to unlock an innovative mindset in every student, instilling an inquisitive approach to rejecting the status quo and creatively attacking the problems we face. By facilitating partnerships and building relationships spanning schools, industries, and traditional fields of study, the Werth Institute provides exceptional opportunities for students, faculty, and alumni.

Under University leadership, the Institute brings together myriad programs that foster entrepreneurship and innovation, supporting ideas that potentially have commercial application and can be used to create new companies. In addition to nurturing innovation, the Institute facilitates programs including entrepreneurship speaker forums and hosts an entrepreneur-in-residence to instruct students.

Werth’s commitment is the second-largest in University history, behind Ray and Carole Neag’s $23 million pledge in 1999. “An investment in UConn is an investment in the University’s spirit of innovation,” said Werth, CEO, president, and chairman of ChemWerth, Inc. when he announced his gift.

About Peter J. Werth

Peter J. Werth is a philanthropist and the founder, president, and CEO of ChemWerth, Inc. Werth earned his bachelor’s degree from Fort Hays State University in Kansas and his master’s degree from Stanford University, beginning his professional career as an R&D scientist in the early 1960s. Working from a room above the garage in his Woodbridge, Connecticut home, he established ChemWerth Inc., a full-service generic drug development and supply company, in 1982.

Werth’s vision was to produce U.S. FDA-quality active pharmaceutical ingredients in China, which would make generic drugs more accessible and affordable. He immersed himself in the local Chinese market and worked alongside manufacturers to achieve the necessary quality of ingredients. Today, sourcing active pharmaceutical ingredients from China is an industry norm, providing a significant cost savings on medication for millions.

Werth’s dedication to improving the lives of people through affordable generic medicine is matched by his most generous philanthropic spirit. Werth’s previous commitment provided the lead gift for the Werth Family UConn Basketball Champions Center, a world-class facility for the UConn women’s and men’s basketball teams. In addition to his numerous charitable donations to UConn, he is the president of The Werth Family Foundation Inc., which was established in 2001 to support Connecticut communities, with a focus on higher education, children’s services, human services, the arts, and the environment. Werth is also a 2015 honorary Doctor of Science degree recipient from UConn.

peter werth listening to student talk