How George Mason University has Become Charles Koch’s Preferred Beneficiary

A public institution located in Washington’s outskirts has become a recipient of generous donations from billionaire industrialist, Charles Koch. This has been attributed to its repute as a conformist institution in matters regarding the financial world and law. These ideals have endeared it to Charles Koch, who makes donations amounting to tens of millions of dollars to the university annually. Its conformist and traditional character has made it a favorite for Republican Party mandarins like Koch.

Tax records prove that between 2011 and 2014, the Charles Koch Foundation bequeathed 48 million dollars to the institution in various forms. Even though the billionaire’s annual contribution to hundreds of institutions adds up to more than 10 million dollars. However, his special attachment to George Mason is proved by the fact that no school receives more than 1 million dollars. Billionaires from all sides of the political divide have been known to make huge contributions to learning facilities. What baffles the public is the size of endowment received by George Mason is.

Most moguls who have made enormous aids to schools do it with a specific objective. This includes the construction of research centers. Earlier this year for instance, Nike Inc. co-founder Phil Knight made it public that he was bequeathing a scholarship worth 400 million dollars to Stanford University. Just like Koch, Knight is a staunch supporter of the Republican Party. Koch’s representatives have dispelled fears that the donations might curtail the independence of the schools. They maintain that the bequests come without any conditions. They are only meant for filling gaps left by deteriorating government support. The recent donation made by the foundation to George Mason will mostly be routed to the Mercatus Center, which is a think-tank devoted to the creation of free market economies.

The Wichita native is the co-owner and Chief Executive Officer of Koch Industries, a conglomerate started by his father, Fred Koch. The firm mainly deals in oil, chemicals, energy and mining. Koch attended the University of Massachusetts from 1957 to 1960, and was a standout student. Under his watch, the family business has developed into one of America’s most prominent family controlled firms.

Koch briefly worked at Arthur D. Little before joining the family business, which was then known as Rock Island Oil and Refining Company. He has played a pivotal role in streamlining operations and expanding the firm’s setup to over 60 countries. Charles has been honored with numerous personal awards in his corporate career due to his numerous contributions to policy making, philanthropy and education.

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