A $5,000 gift from an anonymous donor will help build support for the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) course, Management 480.
The class focuses on how businesses help communities through philanthropy and gives students an idea of how the for-profit sector makes decisions on supporting not-for-profit organizations.
The College of B&E Business and Professional Ethics Club received the gift and chose to give it to the management department to create an annual event to raise money for the CSR program.
Each spring students solicit proposals for projects to benefit the greater Morgantown community, develop a set of criteria for judging them, and then choose winners.
The program is in its 11th year, and students have awarded a total of $225,000 since 2001. Funding for the program originally came from College of Business and Economics alumnus Bob Reitman, who recognized the importance of businesses contributing to the community. It is now sustained primarily by the College, and the annual fundraising event will help broaden support from businesses, explained Dr. Joyce Heames, who has taught the class since 2008.
Last year the class had almost $150,000 in requests from more than a score of needy charities, but only $20,000 to work with – on a smaller scale much like philanthropic organizations and corporate foundations that are forced to make difficult decisions about helping their communities.
Jason Junkin, president of the Professional and Business Ethics Club, said, "It was wonderful to be given the opportunity to present the check to the CSR program. I found out about the class from Dr. David Cale, and then I had the opportunity to briefly meet Joyce Heames a week prior to the donation. The class sounds very interesting to me, and I will be looking into it further. If I am able to fit it into my schedule I will certainly consider taking it."
A business management senior from Vienna, Va., he joined the club last year. "The club sounded very interesting to me, especially in light of recent press about the financial crisis and other ethical issues. I have always been interested in the differences between what is legal and what is ethical," he said.
After he graduates, Junkin plans to attend graduate school for an MBA before starting his own real estate business.