Sheffield University has been given a £2.6 million donation - the largest gift it has had from a former student in the last decade.
The cash has come from international investor Jeremy Grantham, now 75, who was born in Doncaster and graduated from Sheffield with a degree in economics in 1961. He went on to study at Harvard and is now chief investment strategist of Boston-based asset management firm GMO.
The money will be used to boost university research into harnessing the power of the sun, and the university is creating the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures, which will focus on how humans can live in a more eco-friendly way.
Mr Grantham said: “Project Sunshine addresses the central challenge of our time - dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions by making global energy and food systems sustainable.”
The new centre will build on the university’s research in areas such as food and energy security, as well as developing a new generation of young scientists.
Vice-Chancellor Prof Sir Keith Burnett said: “This investment by the Grantham Foundation will enable us to take our work on sustainability to the next level.”