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Huntsman Alumni Magazine - Summer 2017

A Transformative Moment

Jon M. Huntsman  and Charles KochJon Huntsman and Charles Koch have each written history more than a few times. Both have spent a lifetime building billion-dollar enterprises that employ thousands around the world. The two have revolutionized entire industries. They’ve each authored best-selling books on business philosophy and ethical leadership, and both are renowned for their generosity. They’ve been business associates and personal friends for more than 40 years. Now, these two icons of entrepreneurship and philanthropy have made a joint gift of $50,000,000, the largest in USU history, to the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business.

An historic gift of $50 million will provide incredible opportunities for students and extraordinary impact for the School.

Jon Huntsman and Charles Koch have each written history more than a few times. Both have spent a lifetime building billion-dollar enterprises that employ thousands around the world. The two have revolutionized entire industries. They’ve each authored best-selling books on business philosophy and ethical leadership, and both are renowned for their generosity. They’ve been business associates and personal friends for more than 40 years. Now, these two icons of entrepreneurship and philanthropy have made a joint gift of $50,000,000, the largest in USU history, to the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business.

“I’ve been observing Utah State University for the past 50 years, and this is the finest college in America,” said Jon M. Huntsman, Sr. “I didn’t go to school there, but I recognize it as the institution where I would go today if I had to select the best university. So when the opportunity arose to partner with my good friend Charles Koch to benefit future generations of students at Utah State, we immediately took it.”

Gift Signing

During the past 10 years, the Huntsman School of Business has experienced extraordinary improvement and growth. The enrollment of high-ability students has increased by 209 percent, and they have established an impressive track record of success by winning national competitions, by placing at top graduate schools and globally recognized companies. Eighty percent of faculty have joined the School since 2006, with three members of the faculty recognized as USU Teachers of the Year. The school has added 12 new curricular and extracurricular programs, with programs in accounting and human resources achieving national rankings. Huntsman Hall, opened in April 2016, provides more than 40 state-of-the-art classrooms and team study rooms, offering students some of the best business school facilities in the world.

“I’ve been observing Utah State University for the past 50 years, and this is the finest college in America.”

— Jon M. Huntsman, Sr.

This progress is thanks, in large part, to the vision and financial support of many generous donors. The Huntsman Foundation and Charles Koch Foundation, both with whom the Huntsman School has long-standing relationships, have been key partners over the past decade.

Announced during USU’s 130th Commencement by President Noelle Cockett, this historic gift will increase opportunities for students—through scholarships, through opportunities to study new subjects, through deep engagement with world class faculty, and through interaction with alumni and business professionals. “This gift will be transformational for the Huntsman School, and I am grateful for the direct benefits it will provide for our students,” said Cockett. “It represents a tremendous expansion of opportunities for students through direct scholarships and enhanced program offerings.”

Frank Caliendo
“When I look back over the past
decade, I am stunned at what the
college has accomplished. With
this historic new gift before us,
the future of the Huntsman
School is equally bright.”
 
— Frank Caliendo

One part of the gift will bolster the Huntsman Scholar Program, renowned for bringing together outstanding students with leading educators for a rigorous, one-of-a-kind undergraduate business education program. This integrated curricular and co-curricular experience across four years is focused on academic discipline and mentoring to provide a solid understanding of financial markets and the nature of business enterprise. Huntsman Scholars will also benefit from international travels to experience foreign markets.

Another part of the gift will further scholarly research and student learning opportunities through an affiliation with the Center for Growth and Opportunity. The Center will advance scientific understanding of the interaction between individuals, business, and government to develop solutions to important problems through economic research and student engagement. Activities conducted through the center will include scholarly research, conferences, seminars, workshops, visiting speakers and student career exploration. The center will also fund scholarships and fellowships.

“We are deeply appreciative of the vote of confidence placed in us by the Huntsman and Koch Foundations. Each of these great foundations has been a wonderful partner during the last decade. Now they have challenged us to reach even higher in our aspirations and in our impact. We look forward to deepening our relationship during the coming decade, and working with them and many others to create the finest undergraduate business and economics program in the Intermountain West,” says Douglas D. Anderson, Dean of the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business.

A visionary who possesses a keen sense for opportunity and risk, Jon Huntsman works with the focus and energy of a man determined to change the world. He’s a natural entrepreneur who developed solutions for the needs he identified in emerging markets. He founded the Huntsman Container Corporation in 1970, the company that created the “clamshell” styrofoam container for McDonald’s Big Mac, revolutionizing the fast food packaging industry. After selling that company, Huntsman founded the Huntsman Chemical Corporation, which today is one of the world’s largest petrochemical businesses, manufacturing and marketing differentiated chemical products. He’s also revolutionizing the fight against cancer at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, which is one of the top 50 cancer hospitals in the country according to U.S. News & World Report. This premier cancer center features cutting edge medical equipment and technology, a research center, and specialized centers for both men and women that offer cosmetic assistance and counseling to restore self-confidence and improve well-being following treatment. A four-time cancer survivor, he is determined to find a cure. In June 2017, on his 80th birthday, Huntsman and the Huntsman Cancer Institute will open the new Primary Children’s & Families’ Cancer Research Center.

Charles Koch
“It’s a tremendous honor for me to
partner with my long-term friend,
Jon Huntsman, to support the
great work at Utah State University.”

— Charles Koch

As impressive as his professional achievements may be, the real presence when Huntsman enters the room is his humanity. Jon Huntsman rose from desperate poverty in the 1930’s, and memories of family, community, and hard work have rooted him in the fertile soil of past generosities and kindnesses bestowed on him by others. His gratitude for everything in his life, from challenges to just plain good luck, and a deep desire to improve quality of life for others guide his philanthropy.

Charles Koch was taught the value of hard work by his father, who hoped his children would feel the joy of accomplishment. An MIT-educated chemical and nuclear engineer, Koch became president of his father’s oil business in 1967 and renamed it Koch Industries in honor of his father. Still serving as chairman of the board and CEO 50 years later, he has grown Koch Industries into one of the largest privately owned conglomerates in the world, dealing in everything from oil to paper products to cattle ranching.

Koch is driven by his passion for advancing an understanding of well-being and a belief that creating value with integrity benefits society as a whole. He also believes education is a transformative experience that provides people with opportunities to discover their talents and interests and gather the skills and knowledge to be able to pursue those interests. His lifelong love of mathematics and engineering began with the excitement he felt as he decoded math problems on the chalkboard in his third-grade classroom.

“For him, that was an enlightening moment,” says Dr. John Hardin, Director of University Relations at the Charles Koch Foundation. “Mr. Koch has dedicated a tremendous amount of his philanthropy to ensuring that everyone has that same kind of opportunity to discover their unique talents and passions, and that everyone has access to education to develop their skills and be able to make their own contribution.”

Vijay Kannan
“We’re going to train these students
to be exceptional business
professionals. That’s not just having
a lot of book smarts. That’s about
having richer human capacities.”

— Vijay Kannan

Charles Koch has been donating to education for over 50 years. The Charles Koch Foundation supports more than 300 academic institutions, and supports scholars and students seeking to grow the discourse of discovery around which institutions, ideas, and conditions best enable people to prosper.

Along with a shared gift for entrepreneurial creativity, a commitment to excellence and scientific precision in business endeavors, and a deep commitment to serving others, Jon Huntsman and Charles Koch also share a profound interest in education as a means of bettering lives.

The mission of the Huntsman School is to develop leaders of distinction in commerce and public affairs. Fulfilling this purpose means creating a culture of excellence across the School, from recruiting high ability students, faculty, and staff, to creating programs that prepare students to lead lives of meaning and contribution. The Huntsman Scholar Program has done just that for the past ten years, with a record of achievement second to none across undergraduate business education anywhere in the country.

This gift will enable a four-fold increase in the program, to create, in the words of Jon Huntsman, “opportunities for many more students to experience an Ivy League education right here in Utah.” Upwards of 400 of the best and brightest students at the Huntsman School will have the opportunity for this world-class education through dedicated Huntsman Scholar sections of the required business curriculum, developmental labs revolving around the school pillars, service opportunities, and mentorship and career development opportunities that expand student capacities and strengthen relationships between students and faculty.

Vijay Kannan, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, shares the Huntsman School’s vision that students be prepared to add immediate value and assume leadership roles within the organizations where they work. “Being a Huntsman Scholar is an experience. It’s not ‘going to school’ in the traditional sense. By the time these students graduate, we want them to have the confidence and leadership ability of somebody who’s already been working a couple of years. They’ll know how to make connections across ideas because they’ve dealt with situations of complexity and ambiguity,” says Kannan. “We’re going to train these students to be exceptional business professionals. That’s not just having a lot of book smarts. That’s about having richer human capacities.”

Dave Patel
“Our students want an education
that challenges them, and that
prepares them to compete. They
want to interact with their
teachers and their fellow
students in meaningful ways.”

— Dave Patel

“Our students want an education that challenges them, and that prepares them to compete. They want to interact with their teachers and their fellow students in meaningful ways. The Huntsman Scholar Program is designed to provide just that, through a heavy emphasis on curricular rigor and hands-on experiential activities” notes Dave Patel, Associate Dean of Student and External Affairs, and the new Executive Director of the Huntsman Scholar Program.

The co-curricular learning labs will combine classroom instruction and experiential activities to engage students deeply around the four strategic pillars of the Huntsman School. They will also build a community of students and a peer network through interactions within the student cohort. The global learning experience will include a significant learning and professional development experience overseas. These labs will provide rich learning opportunities that integrate the various curricular and co-curricular dimensions of the program, and create opportunities for meaningful and significant faculty and peer mentoring.

On a career exploration trip to New York City, Economics major Ethan Dursteler gained a better understanding of what it takes to succeed in finance. “People want you to perform. They want you to create value. I was able to see how successful people in the industry behave and what they expect, and that they do their jobs with precision and attention to detail. It opened my eyes. Now, rather than looking at how my classes can give me a practical education and skills, I consider all my classes an opportunity to develop and improve my critical thinking skills which will in turn help me function more effectively and make a real contribution in the world.”

Reagan Rees, a freshman majoring in MIS who plans to design websites for small businesses, has been strengthened by other Huntsman Scholars in her first year at USU. She notes, “The Huntsman Scholar program has been a catalyst for me to progress. Being around people who are motivated, driven, and smart pushes you to do your very best. I find myself doing things above and beyond what I thought I could do.”

Paul Huntsman, son of Jon Huntsman, Sr., says the joint gift arose out of a close relationship between the Huntsman Corporation and Koch Industries: “My father and the Kochs have had a business relationship in the past. They’ve continued to remain friends over the years.” He explained that the Huntsman family’s support is intended to maintain and strengthen a rigorous undergraduate program: “What we’re looking at is for Utah State to be one of the premier undergraduate business schools. We really hope to provide a world-class business education at a state school price.”

John Hardin of the Koch Foundation is enthusiastic about adding this new partnership with USU to the growing list of academic institutions that they fund. “The Charles Koch Foundation supports a diversity of institutions, from well-known universities like Harvard and Chicago to small liberal arts schools and public universities. We believe that in terms of the way knowledge moves forward, the academic enterprise is all about bringing a diversity of voices and ideas to the table and letting them engage with one other. Society progresses when we create educational environments where people can share their different background experiences, questions and data, and talk about solutions. That’s what the Charles Koch Foundation is about, and we’re thrilled to have the chance to support that kind of program at USU,” he notes.

“In the Department of Economics and Finance, we seek to provide our students with the analytical and quantitative tools necessary for successful careers in economics and finance, and to provide intellectual leadership through research that advances the state of knowledge in these fields. Generous financial support from the Huntsman and Charles Koch Foundations over the last decade has been a significant source of strength to our department in our pursuit of these goals,” says Frank Caliendo, Department Head of Economics and Finance, and the Academic Director of the Center for Growth and Opportunity.

He continues, “When I look back over the past decade, I am stunned at what the college has accomplished. With this historic new gift before us, the future of the Huntsman School is equally bright. I am deeply grateful for the incredible generosity of the Huntsman and Koch Foundations, for our many additional friends and alumni who share their resources and talents with us, and for our excellent students who are at the center of all that we do.”

Dave Patel notes the world of opportunities that Huntsman School students will see opened to them through the generous support of the Huntsman and Charles Koch Foundations. “These gifts create opportunities. First and foremost, through direct scholarship support, they create opportunities for students to attend USU. They also create opportunities by enabling us to hire great teachers. And I think through the design of the Huntsman Scholar Program and partnership with the Center for Growth and Opportunity, they create opportunities for a wider network of alumni, scholars, and business professionals to interact with our students and with our faculty.”

Dean Anderson is committed to the awesome responsibility of shaping the leaders of tomorrow, and embraces the opportunity to share with Jon Huntsman and Charles Koch in this endeavor.

“Great leaders are developed where competing ideas can clash and be tested in an environment of openness, civility, and mutual respect. We are honored that Jon Huntsman and Charles Koch, two of America’s greatest entrepreneurs and philanthropists, have found this to be a guiding principle at the Huntsman School of Business. We welcome these historic gifts, and the support of all of those who share our mission to develop leaders of distinction in commerce and public affairs.”

View this historic announcement at: huntsman.usu.edu/giftannouncement

Huntsman Scholars Program Roadmap

HIGH SCHOOL

Superior high school performance to include GPA, class standing, and/or strong test scores

Demonstrated achievement in extracurricular activities

Leadership experience

Curiosity about markets and commerce

Service orientation

Initiative and integrity

Humility and grit

HUNTSMAN SCHOOL

Curriculum

Tailored classroom instruction through smaller specialized Scholar sections of the undergraduate business required courses

Labs

Rigorous co-curricular experiences, or labs, that explore ethical leadership, entrepreneurial spirit, global context of business, and applied decision making.

Outside the Classroom

Activities that promote service, professional development, and social interaction through a broad portfolio of opportunities that will add significant value to the Huntsman experience and position you well for future success.

CAREER

Lead lives of meaning and contribution