COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A descendant of one of the families that helped found the University of Missouri has pledged $1.5 million to the university to support business operations.

The university announced Friday that Jim Pace, a 1965 graduate of the College of Business, had pledged the gift, which includes $150,000 he donated in 2016.

Pace is related to John, Richard and Lineal Pace, brothers who in 1839 contributed $100 of $117,900 needed to endow the university and bring it to Boone County.

Jim Pace was the owner and CEO of ROM Corporation, a manufacturing company that makes roll-up doors. He is retired.

He said in a news release he hoped the gift will allow the university to reduce operating costs in a time of declining state funding and limited opportunities to raise tuition.