Nineteen 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 Monday, March 5, and in late April the class will hand out $20,000 to local non-profit organizations.

The program, called Corporate Social Responsibility, is in its 11th year at the College of Business and Economics. Students have given away more than $220,000 since 2001. Funding for the program comes from the college and alumni who recognize the importance of businesses contributing to the community.

Bob Reitman, a B&E alumnus, proposed the class idea to teach future business leaders the value of contributing to society and the community. This year, Dr. Joyce Heames is leading the program. For more information and complete guidelines for grant applications, e-mail

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 guided by their mission statement to have long lasting impact while providing quality service to the community.

Each year, as part of the class, the 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 CEO of Sherman Williams and the Director of the Cleveland United Way.

Last year’s recipients were: CASA for Kids; WV Family Grief Center; Stepping Stones; Milan Puskar Health Right Clinic; Christian Help, Inc.; Children’s Discovery Museum of WV; PACE Enterprises; Scotts Run Settlement House; Rape & Domestic Violence Info Center.



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CONTACT: Dani Mackey