Utah business leader and world-recognized philanthropist Jon M. Huntsman bucked national giving trends when he officially announced in May 2009 that the Huntsman family will fund two $1.5 million presidential chairs at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University, and it will double the number of scholarships available to Armenian students, continuing his long-standing commitment to the people of that country.
Dean Douglas D. Anderson listens as Jon M. Huntsman make a surprise announcement.
“We are so very proud of the Armenian students and are pleased with their progress and achievements at USU,” Mr. Huntsman said. “It is an honor to be involved in their development as future professionals and know that the business acumen they are gaining will empower them to be productive contributors to Armenia’s growth in the global marketplace.”
Mr. Huntsman already funds scholarships for 13 Armenian students and more than 100 students at the business school who are enrolled in the prestigious and highly competitive Huntsman Scholars Program. USU Huntsman Scholars are selected on the basis of leadership, scholarly promise and a commitment to service. Huntsman scholarship grants allow students to engage in customized, global-learning experiences in South America, Asia and Europe where they are directly exposed to top business, government and academic leaders.
USU President Stan Albrecht attended the meeting with the students where Mr. Huntsman first talked about his new contribution to fund the presidential chairs.
“These gifts will prove a great addition to USU and a wise investment in the students we serve,” Albrecht said. “We are grateful to the Huntsman family for their remarkable, ongoing commitment to this university. They understand the role our faculty members play in shaping the lives of our students and the culture of this great institution. The significance of this gift cannot be overstated.”
As business schools across the country face budget cuts and even a reduction in private sector contributions, the news of the added financial support is welcome, according to Douglas D. Anderson, dean of the Huntsman School of Business.
“Mr. Huntsman shares the vision we have about the potential of our students and the need to recruit and retain top professors as we transform the Huntsman School of Business,” Anderson said. “Our job is to be a career accelerator for our students and an economic engine of growth for our own communities, the state of Utah, the nation and the world. We are deeply grateful for these gifts that come in addition to the very generous support Mr. Huntsman has already given to our students and our programs. They will help us achieve our mission.”
At a dinner in April, Huntsman Scholars and USU Huntsman scholarship recipients from Armenia were given a chance to talk to Mr. Huntsman about the impact his contributions have made in their lives.
“On behalf of the many people who will be affected by this Huntsman Scholarship program, thank you,” senior Eddie Norton said at the presentation to the Huntsmans. “Thank you for your example. Thank you for your charity. But most importantly, thank you for believing in us because we are going to make a great difference throughout the world.”
In December 2007, Mr. Huntsman visited USU in Logan, Utah, to announce a gift of $26 million, with $25 million to go to the business school and $1 million to go to support scholarships for Armenian students. The USU College of Business was then renamed the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business.