The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation awarded four separate grants to West Virginia University between April and June totaling $622,000.
The programs and initiatives receiving grants made through the WVU Foundation include:
- West Virginia Brownfields Revitalization Mini Grant Program- $250,000 The Brownfields Revitalization Program conducts redevelopment projects for property that may be of strategic and productive use by the community, but possesses potential hazards, pollutants or contaminants. Funds will be designated for communities that have applied for, and been chosen for the revitalization process of a specific site.
- West Virginia Center for End-of-Life Care - $115,000 The Center for End-of-Life Care has created a secure online e-Directory where all directives and medical orders can be quickly accessed to help health care personnel make informed decisions during treatment, while respecting the patient’s wishes. The grant will support the process of implementing and maintaining the new e-Directory.
- WVU Office of Research and Economic Development - $132,000 The Office establishes new and supports existing research programs, while working to improve and sustain WVU’s recognition as a major research institution. Funding will help to expand the University’s research commercialization output and economic impact by studying and forming relationships with peer institutions and businesses, and implementing new, influential research programs.
- The WVU Health Sciences and Technology Academy (HSTA) - $125,000 HSTA is a community based, participatory research model with the goal of increasing West Virginia college education rates, general health care knowledge, and eventually the number of health care providers in under-served communities. With the program’s history of success, funds will be used to support its current work, as well as to review and analyze its effectiveness.
“The Benedum Foundation’s most recent grants to the WVU Foundation are an interesting representation of the varied and important services that WVU and its related entities - often with public and private partners - provide to West Virginia, beyond the primary mission of education,” said William P. Getty, president of the Benedum Foundation. “These four grants involve community development, end-of-life care, entrepreneurship, and preparing high school students - many from disadvantaged circumstances - for careers in health care.”
WVU Foundation President & CEO Wayne King said, “We express our sincere appreciation to the Benedum Foundation for its continued support of so many different projects and initiatives at WVU. Its impact through private giving has touched the lives of so many West Virginians. We are extremely grateful for the generosity shown year after year.”
Speaking further of the initiatives awarded grants, Getty added, “These are all areas of long-standing interest to the Benedum Foundation, and more importantly, areas of need in the State. These projects are just a sample of the many ways that a public research university is an extremely valuable asset, both in terms of what it does on campus, and what it helps to make happen in partnership with others across the State.”
Considered as one of the 100 wealthiest Americans during his time, Michael L. Benedum, a native West Virginian, acquired his fortune from the lucrative oil and gas industry. While he is well-known for his drilling operations across North America, South America and Europe, he is also known for his love of West Virginia. Michael and his wife Sarah, with a desire to give back to their home state, established the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation in memory of their late son in 1944.
The Benedum family created the Benedum Foundation with the strict intention of focusing its grant-making in the two places they called home, West Virginia and Pittsburgh. Since then, it has maintained its mission of providing support to West Virginia and Southwestern Pennsylvania and to projects where it will have the greatest impact. Grants are made to support specific initiatives in the areas of education, economic development, health and human services, community development and civic engagement.
Chartered in 1954, the WVU Foundation is a private non-profit corporation that generates, receives and administers private gifts for the benefit of West Virginia University.