Utah State Univ. Gets $26 Million from Huntsman

Utah State Univ. Gets $26 Million from Huntsman

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LOGAN, Utah (AP) -- Utah billionaire Jon Huntsman Sr. pledged $26 million Monday to Utah State University, the school's largest gift.

Huntsman said $25 million will go to Utah State's College of Business, and $1 million will be dedicated to scholarships for Armenians.

The business school immediately got a new name: The Jon M. Huntsman School of Business.

"We are deeply appreciative of the Huntsman family and their dedication to higher education in Utah," Utah State President Stan Albrecht said.

"The impact of this generous gift will be felt not only by the College of Business but by the entire university. The Jon M. Huntsman School of Business will help our students prepare to become tomorrow's leaders," Albrecht said.

Huntsman and his wife, Karen, announced the pledge at a lunch attended by more than 500 people, with an overflow room for students.

Huntsman, father of Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., has said the sale of his chemicals company will fund his humanitarian and philanthropic endeavors, including cancer research.

In July, Huntsman Corp. accepted a $6.51 billion bid from private-equity firm Apollo Management LP, which owns Hexion Specialty Chemicals Inc. of Columbus, Ohio. The deal is undergoing antitrust review.

The dean of the business school, Douglas Anderson, said Huntsman is expected to release his donation over time -- and there could be more from the family's foundation.

"This is an individual who doesn't announce all of his gifts at once," Anderson said. "We expect to be partners for generations to come."

Huntsman's money will be used to boost faculty salaries and launch new programs covering finance and qualitative analysis, business ethics, entrepreneurship and globalization.

The school has already raised money for a renovation of its George S. Eccles Business Building, and Huntsman's gift will be geared toward academics, Anderson said.

Huntsman's relationship with the Armenian people began after a devastating earthquake in 1988 left thousands homeless.

Over 18 years, he contributed more than $50 million to the Armenian people. His largesse helped build a K-12 school and an apartment complex in Gyumri.

Utah State announced a comprehensive fundraising campaign in March, which aims to generate $200 million. Spokesman John DeVilbiss says $150 million has been raised.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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