Kochs Big Donors to Colleges
Giving more than $1 million to state's public, private colleges.
A recent $425,000 grant to the University of Wisconsin-Stout by the Charles Koch Foundation is the largest single, annual gift ever given to a Wisconsin college or university by the rightwing grantor, but not the first. The tally to all Wisconsin colleges and universities tops $1 million.
UW-Stout, located in Menomonie, announced in early May that it will receive the grant from the conservative foundation to use in 2017-18. The grant is renewable annually for up to three more years, for a potential $1.7 million in total funding from the foundation.
In addition to the UW-Stout grant, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign review of annual financial reports filed by the foundation with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service found just over $621,000 in grants to nine Wisconsin public and private colleges and universities between 2007 and 2015. (A foundation report for 2016 is not yet available.) Here are the Wisconsin schools and the total amount each has received since 2007 from the Charles Koch Foundation:
Beloit College $191,500
UW-La Crosse $32,500
Carthage College, Kenosha $30,000
Lakeland College, Plymouth $25,000
UW-Green Bay $9,500
Wisconsin Lutheran College, Milwaukee $7,500
UW-Eau Claire $7,082
Concordia University, Mequon $7,000
Charles and David Koch are the billionaire owners of Koch Industries. The brothers have been among the top funders of rightwing organizations and causes for decades. The Kochs founded Americans for Prosperity, a secretive rightwing electioneering group. They have also been generous backers of the American Enterprise Institute, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Cato Institute, Federalist Society, Heartland Institute, Heritage Foundation, and the State Policy Network, among others.