Charles Koch’s Contribution Towards George Mason University

George Mason University is a public school that is based outside Washington D.C. Recently due to the influence and donations of Charles Koch, the institution has become a leader in offering economics and law courses. Since the year 2011 up to around 2014, Charles Koch Foundation had committed itself to offering over $48 million to the university. The foundation gives over $ 20 million to universities across the nation.

It is quite unexpected and out of the ordinary to see billionaires donating money to schools. These current donations by Charles Koch has raised some eye brows. Students at George Mason have aired their concerns fearing that academic independence is being threatened by this. These sentiments echo the opinions of other university students that have benefited from these donations. This is not to say that other billionaires are not making any donations. Their donations are geared towards setting up research facilities and scholarships. An example of granted scholarships is one by Nike Inc, where it gave a donation of $400 million for scholarship to Stanford University. In support of Charles Koch and his initiative, his representatives maintain that these donations come without any conditions whatsoever.

His contributions to George Mason has raised alarms since a substantive number of board members are linked with Koch Industries. The question that is then raised is Why George Mason and not any other university? The school’s growth has been related to Koch’s philanthropy and the connections that it has had with Koch Industries for a long period of time. One of the members of the university’s board is Kimberly Dennis who heads Searle Freedom Trust that has close and longstanding relationship with the Kochs. Martin Kich has written numerous articles criticizing Koch’s approach and influence towards university education. There has been suggestions and opinions in which people are calling for protection of academic independence.

Charles Koch is described as one of the most influential billionaires with extensive political links. He is married with two children. Charles Koch attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology for his Bachelor in Arts and also Master of Science. He started off his career at his father’s business known as Rock Island Oil and Refining Company. He later became the president of the firm and thereafter renamed it to Koch Industries. He spurred the company to generate $90 billion in revenue and by 2014, he was recognized by Forbes as being worth approximately $41.3 billion.

Charles has also participated in philanthropic and political activities. His philanthropic initiatives are tailored towards universities across the United States. He has focused on promoting research, policy and educational programs. He has won numerous awards such as the William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership in 2011. He continues to be a force to be reckoned within the United States and globally.

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