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USU Receives $690,000 Donation from Koch Foundation

Thursday, Oct. 16, 2008

Charles G. Koch

The Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation donated $690,000 to support USU students.

Utah State University received a $690,000 donation from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation.

The Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation donated $625,000 dollars to USU’s Jon M. Huntsman School of Business Department of Economics, $50,000 dollars to the Koch Scholars program and $15,000 dollars to the College of Humanities Arts, and Social Science’s Department of Political Science.
“It is an honor to have the Charles G. Koch foundation supporting USU students,” said Randy Simmons, who was named the Charles G. Koch professor of economics. “Our emphasis is on students, and that is exactly what this donation is for, to help promote our students.”
The $625,000 donation supports five professors of economics, over a 5 year period. The donation will assist the professors as they advance the understanding and practice of those free voluntary processes and principles that promote social progress, human well-being, individual freedom, opportunity and prosperity based on the rule of law, constitutional government, private property and the laws, regulations, organizations, institutions and social norms upon which they rely.
The foundation also committed $50,000 to the Koch Scholars program. The Koch Scholars are chosen from a variety of university-wide majors and financial support is given to them to help them develop critical thinking skills that bridge the disciplinary divides.
“The Koch Scholars are some of our brightest students,” said Roberta Herzberg, head of the USU political science department. “Each semester we choose 15 students from cross disciplines to participate in a weekly reading group that reads and discusses 10 important books on the subject of freedom and responsibility. The agenda of these discussions is to critically engage the ideas in the books.”
The Koch Scholars started with a pilot program in fall 2007, and has continued every semester following.
“I never could have imagined the impact the Koch Scholars program would have on my education and thinking process,” said Natalie Naegle, a 2008 Koch Scholar. “The opportunity was so unlike anything I have experienced at USU. The ability to think critically about literature and world events, and also others’ opinions of the world, will be one of the most valuable things I take away from my university education.”
Lastly, $15,000 dollars was given to the department of political science’s Institute of Political Economy to fund three seminars, led by Herzberg, for USU students interning in Washington, D.C.
“At our seminars, we bring students together who have learned theory in the classroom and had real life experience through an internship,” said Herzberg. “The funding also goes towards helping students finance their internships because many aren’t paid.”
“The Koch Scholars Program offers students the opportunity to engage in lively informed discussion and debate on classical works of philosophy and economics with the guidance of stellar faculty members,” said Joyce Kinkead, USU’s associate vice president for research.
All of the USU leaders involved in the partnership are excited about the opportunities the Charles G. Koch Foundation gives to students by connecting them to opportunities they would not otherwise have following their degrees at USU.
“This donation emphasizes our commitment to undergraduates in the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business,” said Doug Anderson, dean of USU’s Jon M. Huntsman School of Business. “There is a certain prestige associated with the Koch Foundation. We hope our association with this wonderful foundation will help with our recruitment for high-quality students.”
Writer/Contact: Sarah Reale, (435)797-2759

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