WVU business college, athletics receive $4 million gift from BrickStreet Foundation

West Virginia University’s College of Business and Economics and Department of Intercollegiate Athletics received a boost Tuesday (Feb. 26) with a $4 million contribution from the BrickStreet Insurance Foundation. The gift is being made through the WVU Foundation's A State of Minds campaign.

The gift includes $3 million to the College of Business and Economics’ Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which will now be known as the BrickStreet Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and $1 million to the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics for improvements to athletic facilities for student-athletes. The gift to the College of Business and Economics is the largest corporate gift in the college's history.

"I want to thank the BrickStreet Foundation for this investment in our students and in the future of West Virginia," WVU President Jim Clements said. "This gift to our College of Business and Economics will help our faculty and staff inspire entrepreneurship in our students and open doors for future generations to find success right here in West Virginia.

"The gift to our athletics program will help us to provide quality athletic facilities for student-athletes and a great opportunity for our students in majors such as athletic training and exercise physiology to learn in a state-of-the-art environment. We are very grateful for these incredible gifts from the BrickStreet Foundation and look forward to seeing the positive impacts for years to come."

The gift will allow the college to sustain its current programming and expand entrepreneurship education throughout West Virginia, elevating the quality and number of programs offered.

“It gives me great pleasure to announce the BrickStreet Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship,” said Jose “Zito” Sartarelli, Milan Puskar Dean of the College of Business and Economics. “The naming of this center will take our efforts to a different level because we’ll be able to do more and new things.

"Not only are we going to continue to run our successful West Virginia Statewide Business Plan Competition for collegiate students and provide instruction for education to students interested in entrepreneurship, but it will allow us to add important new tracks to the existing competition as well as reach out to high school students in the state. To get young people in high school interested in and excited about starting new businesses is very important, as we look to create new businesses and new jobs in West Virginia. This gift — the naming of the center — is truly transformational.”

BrickStreet has been a longtime supporter of WVU Athletics. This latest gift will be used for improvements to the football complex.

"We appreciate the generosity of Greg Burton and BrickStreet," said WVU Athletic Director Oliver Luck. "This gift will help with our much needed football renovations, and our coaches and student-athletes truly appreciate it. BrickStreet, as a company, has been hugely successful and we are delighted and appreciative that they have invested such a substantial sum of money in the athletic program. Our success depends largely on generous contributions such as this one from BrickStreet, and we certainly are fortunate to have them as a member of our team."

BrickStreet is committed to giving back to its community through a strong corporate giving program, said Greg Burton, BrickStreet Mutual Insurance president & CEO.

“At BrickStreet, we believe our success is dependent upon not only our corporate interests, but also those that improve opportunities and promote quality of life in the communities we serve,” Burton said. “We are proud to be able to support West Virginia University’s academic and athletic programs. Many of our Board members and employees are affiliated with WVU – both as graduates and fans – so our partnership with the University runs deep. Our Board is deeply committed to corporate giving and, on behalf of the management team and staff, we consider this a win-win and are happy to contribute.”

BrickStreet Mutual Insurance Company became the state of West Virginia’s first private workers’ compensation carrier on Jan. 1, 2006. BrickStreet is a mutual company owned by its policyholders and is among the largest writers of workers’ compensation coverage in the nation. It carries half of the workers’ compensation policies in West Virginia.

“The WVU Foundation extends a sincere thank you to BrickStreet for its continued support of West Virginia University,” said Wayne King, Foundation president and CEO. “From the classroom to the playing field, BrickStreet understands how private giving can have a tremendous positive impact. Its generosity will certainly be felt with this wonderful donation.”

A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University was publicly launched by WVU and the WVU Foundation in June 2012. The $750 million fundraising effort runs through December 2015.

February 26, 2013