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Donations help four programs

Three recent major donations totaling $296,300 will augment the College’s efforts in four programs.

The Koch Foundation has donated $216,300 to support fellowships in the free market area of economics. The donation, to be used over three years, will help the College compete for outstanding graduate students, expand the economics Ph.D. program and provide resources to top students to use in their research.

Charles G. Koch established the foundation in 1980. He is chairman of the board and CEO of Koch Industries Inc., a company with about 70,000 employees in nearly 60 countries headquartered in Wichita, Kansas.

A $50,000 “challenge” grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation will help support the West Virginia Statewide Collegiate Business Plan Competition, which enters its fifth year this fall. The event, organized by WVU Entrepreneurship Center Director Mindy Walls, involved 98 applicants from seven colleges and universities throughout the state last fall.

The competition, which began at WVU in 2003 and expanded to all state four-year institutions in 2006, focuses on helping students start small businesses in West Virginia. The Benedum Foundation, established in 1944 by Michael and Sarah Benedum of Bridgeport and Blacksville, W.Va., provides grants in West Virginia and Southern Pennsylvania.

PNC bank has donated $30,000 for a lecture series in the MSIR program and the Economics and Finance department. The lectures bring well-known and respected leaders in business and education to the College throughout the year, providing opportunities for students and faculty to share ideas and research. With more than $290 billion in assets, PNC is one of the largest financial services companies in the country.

“These donations will strengthen the College in all three areas of our land-grant mission: research, teaching and public service,” said Nancy McIntyre, associate dean of academic affairs. “We are extremely grateful to the donors and pledge that their contributions will be put to good use to expand business and economics knowledge and to have an impact on our students and our state.”