Ten students at West Virginia University are learning how to think like corporate philanthropists again this semester. They are accepting applications for grants through, Friday, March 19, and, on April 30, the class will hand out $20,000 to local organizations.

Called the Corporate Citizenship Project, the program is in its ninth year at the WVU College of Business and Economics. Students have given away a total of $185,000 since 2001. Funding for the program comes from the College of Business and Economics WVU alumni who recognize the importance of businesses contributing to the community.

The program was originally designed by Management Professor Gerald Blakely to teach future business leaders the value of contributing to society and the community. This year, Dr. Joyce Heames is leading the program. Complete guidelines for grant applications are on the web at www.be.wvu.edu or by calling (304) 293-7936.

The class solicits proposals for projects that would benefit the greater Morgantown community, develops criteria for judging them (including each program’s track record and the impact a grant would have), and then chooses the winners during the final days of the semester. They operate with the mission statement of “As a class focusing on corporate social responsibility, we will strive to improve our community by investing effort, knowledge, and funds in effective non-profit organizations.”

Each year, as part of the class, students make a trip to Cleveland to meet Robert Reitman, who graduated from the college in 1955 and provided funds to start the project. There they hear from actual community philanthropists and fundraisers; last year, notably, the founder and director of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the director of the Cleveland United Way. During the trip students gain a better understanding and appreciation for their grant decisions, Dr. Blakely said.

Last year’s recipients were:

• Paws 4 Vets
CASA for Kids
• Compeer
• In Touch & Concerned
• Make a Wish
• Milan Puskar Health Right
• Sundale Nursing Home
• Mon County Child Advocacy Center
• Mon County Literacy Volunteers
• Mountain Heart Foundation
• On Eagles Wings Therapeutic Riding



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CONTACT: Dr. Joyce Heames
(304) 293-7936