Let's Get Real.
Charles Koch, and Koch Industries, have given about $90 million to universities in recent years, and much of that has gone to southern states according to a story by the Institute for Southern Studies. Just this year Charles Koch, and his brother David, propose the creation of an academic center, which they would pay for, at Western Carolina University. The donations often go to the creation of these centers which promote free market economy, which the Koch Brothers have advocated.
They have given away a lot of their fortune over the years through their various foundations. They have been criticized for giving money with the expectation of promoting their free market agenda. According to the article, they have given $108 million to 366 universities between 2005 and 2014. About $90 million of that total went to schools in the south.
The biggest benefactor has been George Mason University, which received $77 million for the creation of the Mercatus Center for Humane Studies. The center focuses on promoting free market economics. Most of the other donations were small by comparison, with Florida State getting $2.3 million, West Virginia and South Carolina each received $1.3 million. All of the other schools received less than $1 million.
While the Koch Brothers are conservative, the article points out, wealthy liberals such as George Soros and Michael Bloomberg have also made large contributions to universities. It is believed they are focusing on southern states more because that is where more conservatives are, and they may receive a better reception there with giving to programs that conservatives would embrace. The Koch Brothers have also donated heavily to the political campaigns of many state legislators in the south particularly.
The Charles Koch Foundation had $528 million in assets in 2014. The family also runs the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation, The Claude Lambe Foundation and the Charles Koch Institute.