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Donation strengthens free-market research

Ken and Randy Kendrick have donated an additional $125,000 to a West Virginia University College of Business and Economics initiative they started in 2005.

The Kendricks established the Ken and Randy Kendrick Fund for Free-Market Research with a gift of $500,000 in 2005. The fund is for Business and Economics faculty and students to examine ways entrepreneurship is encouraged through lower taxes, reduced regulation, secure private property rights and personal responsibility.

Since then, Dr. Russell Sobel has published two books, “Unleashing Capitalism” and “The Rule of Law,” which focus on national and state issues that have an impact on economic development. 
The books resulted in many requests for speeches to leadership groups, including West Virginia lawmakers, and media interviews. “Unleashing Capitalism” was named winner of the Sir Antony Fisher Award for the best policy publication of the year in the United States. Sobel is the James Clark Coffman Distinguished Chair in Entrepreneurial Studies and professor of economics.

“The Kendricks’ most recent gift means continued focus on ways to stimulate economic development and entrepreneurship in West Virginia,” said William Trumbull, interim dean of the College of Business and Economics. “The economic challenges we face demand new ideas and approaches, and our faculty and students, with this generous support, are in the forefront of this pursuit.”

Located in the College of Business and Economics, the free-market program has also attracted support from BB&T Bank, the Koch Foundation and B&E graduates Marston and Katharine Becker. Ken Kendrick received a business administration degree at WVU in 1965.

The gift was made through the WVU Foundation, a private non-profit corporation that generates and provides support for WVU.