Defying the stereotype that college students only care about grades, football and their social life, a group of West Virginia University College of Business and Economics students will participate in a valuable exercise of corporate philanthropy. The program, called the Corporate Citizenship Project class, will enable the students to present checks totaling $20,000 to local, charitable organizations at 1 p.m. Thursday, April 26, in the fourth floor atrium of WVU s Business and Economic building.

The class solicited proposals for projects that would benefit the greater Morgantown community, developed a set of criteria for judging them, and then chose the winners from among more than two dozen proposals. The class also tracks the impact on the community as a result of the donations and program funding.

Originally designed by Gerald Blakely, a management professor in the College of Business and Economics, the program was designed to provide experience to future business leaders in philanthropic activities.

In its fifth year the program has distributed more than $100,000 to local charities.

Grant awards from previous years include:

  • Support to buy holiday gifts for children who are wards of the state and victims of abuse or neglect
  • Funds to pay fees for GED exams for adult learners
  • Support for development of a sports complex designed for mentally and/or physically challenged individuals
  • Rescue group support to purchase equipment needed for the rescue of people who are lost or missing in the woods
  • Dispute resolution center support for a mediation project designed to resolve tenant/landlord disputes for WVU students
  • Funding for spaying/neutering of cats for low income families and individuals
  • Support for a career exploration program for students ages 10-14
  • Funds to purchase a computer, software, and office equipment for senior citizens center
  • Funds for a kitchenette at a shelter for the homeless