Eighteen students in the College of Business and Economics at West Virginia University are learning how to think like corporate philanthropists this semester. They are accepting applications for grants through, Friday, March 11. The class will hand out $20,000 to local non-profit organizations in late April.

Called the Corporate Citizenship Project, the program is in its tenth year. Students have given away more than $200,000 since 2001. Funding for the program comes from the College of Business and Economics, WVU, and alumni who recognize the importance of businesses contributing to the community.

The program was originally designed by Management Professor Gerald Blakely at the encouragement of B& E alumnus Bob Reitman to teach future business leaders the value of contributing to society and the community. This year, Dr. Joyce Heames, associate professor of management and industrial relations, is leading the program.

The class solicits proposals for projects that would benefit Monongalia County, 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 Reitman, who graduated from the college in 1955 and provided funds to start the project. There they hear from 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.

For guidelines and to apply for the grants, non-profit organizations may contact the class at BECSRClass@mail.wvu.edu or visit the website at www.be.wvu.edu.

Last year’s recipients were: CASA for Kids; Make a Wish Foundation; Children’s Home Society for WV; Milan Puskar Health right; Christian Help, Inc; Mon County Child Advocacy Center; Friends of Decker Creek; Paws for People; Mon County Habitat for Humanity; Scotts Run Settlement; RDVIC; On Eagles Wings Therapeutic Riding.



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CONTACT: Dr. Joyce Thompson Heames