George Mason University is well known in the DC Metro area for it’s increasingly conservative personality that has awarded it a reputation as a right-wing university that produces a great deal of legal and economics graduates annually. Helping to keep this conservative university open and functioning is a great deal of private dollars in the form of public donations. Tens of millions of those dollars have come from a man popular with many Republican politicians, billionaire industrialist Charles Koch.
According to representatives of Charles Koch, the decision to donate to any public college is entirely an act of generosity that hopes to make up for the lack of funding they desperately need in order to properly instruct their students. And there does seem to be some truth to that claim.
George Mason is in need of money in the form of donations in order to maintain solvency. In 2013, they received $44.6 million in donations from private donors. In the following year, $16,8 million of those dollars came from Charles Koch alone, which made up a third of that years private donations.
This level of donation is rather unique among George Mason’s donors, which makes it a point of interest of many who want to know where this money is going. Turns out that a large portion of Charles’ donations go to the Institute for Humane Studies at the university, which is well known for promoting libertarian politics, which mirror many of his own political leanings. And that shouldn’t come as a surprise since Koch is the chairman of the Institute for Humane Studies’ board.
Thought he Freedom Partners Policy Leaders Conference in California, Charles has supported a platform for rising stars in the Republican party to gain attention from donors and help decide the direction of the party.
Charles has funded much of his political ambitions through the family business, Koch Industries. In the years he has headed the corporation, Koch Industries has grown in value from $50 million to an impressive $115 billion, becoming one of the largest corporations in the United States.