WVU business school to create Center for Free Enterprise with $5 million in gifts

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia University has received a commitment of $5 million from business school alumnus Ken Kendrick and his wife, Randy, and the Charles Koch Foundation as a lead gift to launch a new center to study the economic, political and social factors that increase prosperity.

The gift will enable the College of Business and Economics to create a Center for Free Enterprise, led by co-directors and associate Economics professors Joshua Hall and Andrew Young. The new center will advance teaching and research on the roles that the principles and institutions of a free society play in creating widely shared prosperity and improving quality of life, and will complement more than a decade of B&E support for the study of free market economics.

Plans for the center also include hiring a managing director and five or more visiting faculty fellowships as well as providing 17 or more four-year Ph.D. student fellowships over the next five years.

“We are very excited about the creation of this Center and its ability to build on an area of growing expertise at our college,” said Jose “Zito” Sartarelli, B&E’s Milan Puskar Dean. “The center will join several others that, through independent academic inquiry, seek to complement the education of our students, who will be eventual creators and beneficiaries of a prosperous free society.”

“Randy and I are delighted to partner with the Charles Koch Foundation in establishing the Free Enterprise Center at WVU,” Kendrick said. “I have been a lifelong entrepreneur and am very grateful for the opportunity to have started my business career in West Virginia many years ago. I believe supporting the Center is a great way to give back to WVU.”

Ken and Randy Kendrick are involved in several charitable causes and have multiple philanthropic projects with WVU. The Charles Koch Foundation supports research and educational programs focused on exploring the sources of well-being and has supported WVU since 2006.

“Talented scholars working together to produce solid research is an exciting and powerful force for progress,” said Richard Fink, president of the Charles Koch Foundation. “By bringing together thoughtful academics, WVU’s center has the potential to make significant contributions to our understanding of free societies and how they help people improve their lives.”

“On behalf of the WVU Foundation team, I want to express our sincere gratitude to Ken and Randy, and the Charles Koch Foundation for their generosity,” said Cindi Roth, president and CEO of the WVU Foundation. “This well-considered gift will have a lasting impact on the College of Business and Economics and its students, and will continue the successful momentum toward reaching our goal in the comprehensive campaign.”

WVU vigilantly promotes the academic and constitutional freedoms of faculty, staff, and students. All of the positions will be filled in accordance with standing University policy.

The gifts are being made through the Foundation’s State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia University, the largest private fund-raising campaign in WVU’s history.

For further information on the WVU College of Business and Economics, please visit be.wvu.edu.

More News Stories

02-15-2019 03:02pm

The Charles Koch Foundation is Leading Efforts to Unite on Key Challenges

In January, the Charles Koch Foundation participated in The Seminar Network conference, a three-day event in California where more than 700 scholars, researchers, policymakers, newsmakers, and philanthropists discussed the challenges facing the country and how individuals can come together, regardless of their differences, to develop solutions.

Read more

02-07-2019 10:02am

National Institute for Civil Discourse Projects To Provide Models For How To Restore Civility

The National Institute for Civil Discourse is issuing a request for proposals to scholars with different ideologies and from different disciplines who seek to come together to research the core concepts and institutions that are vital to American political and civic life.

Read more

01-31-2019 12:01pm

The Vera Institute of Justice Launches New Visual Data Tool to Provide Clarity on Arrest Trends

With the support of the Charles Koch Foundation, the Vera Institute of Justice launched a new data visualization tool, Arrest Trends, which provides easy access to valuable data on arrest trends across the country.

Read more