News and analysis
October 17, 2016

Gifts Roundup: Miami U. Alumni Donate $40 Million for Business School

Miami University

The Farmer School of Business at Miami University in Ohio received an additional $40 million from longtime benefactors Richard and Joyce Farmer.

A roundup of notable gifts compiled by The Chronicle:

Miami University

Richard and Joyce Farmer gave $40 million through their family foundation to support a variety of programs in the Farmer School of Business.

The couple also gave large gifts to the business school that bears their name in 1992 and 2005.

Mr. Farmer founded the company that became the Cintas Corporation, which produces uniforms and other business supplies. He retired from Cintas as chairman and CEO in 2009. He and his wife are Miami alumni. Mr. Farmer earned a business degree from the Ohio institution in 1956 and Ms. Farmer earned a bachelor’s degree in education at the university in 1957.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

An anonymous donor gave $40 million to back two scholarship programs and other university needs.

Of the total, $10 million is directed to the Carolina Covenant scholarship program, which provides financial aid to students from low-income families, and $10 million will go to the Morehead-Cain Foundation, which provides merit-based scholarships.

The remaining $20 million will support other programs.

University of Montana

Bill Franke and his family pledged $24 million. The money will go toward the College of Forestry & Conservation and the university’s Global Leadership Initiative. Campus officials say they plan to rename both programs for the Franke family.

Mr. Franke co-founded Indigo Partners, a private investment firm with stakes in several air carriers, and served as CEO of America West Airlines from 1993 to 2001.

University of Pennsylvania

Keith and Katherine Sachs committed $15 million to create the Sachs Program for Arts Innovation.

The money will go toward developing courses, workshops, and master classes; support the creation of art and public-art spaces; and back collaborations between art centers and academic departments across campus.

Mr. Sachs is a former chief executive of Saxco International, a company that manufactures and supplies bottles to the wine and spirits industry. He graduated from the university in 1967. Ms. Sachs has worked as an adjunct curator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She graduated from the university in 1969.

Colorado State University

Curt and Nancy Richardson pledged $8.1 million to build a design center, which will be named for them and is scheduled to open in 2019.

The new center will have space for students and faculty in numerous programs, among them art, construction management, design and merchandising, engineering, entrepreneurship, interior design, landscape architecture, and product development.

The Richardsons founded OtterBox, a company that designs and makes mobile-phone and tablet cases, and Blue Ocean Enterprises, an investment business.

Ms. Richardson graduated from the university in 1982 with a degree in interior design.

Colorado College

Edward Robson gave $8 million to build a new hockey arena.

Mr. Robson graduated from the college in 1954 with a degree in business and banking and played hockey while a student there.

He founded Robson Communities, an Arizona company that builds luxury retirement housing.

Houston Independent School District

Richard and Nancy Kinder donated $7.5 million through their family foundation for a new campus for the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. The new campus in downtown Houston will be renamed for the donors.

Mr. Kinder co-founded Kinder Morgan, an energy company in Houston.

To learn about other big donations, see our database of gifts of $1 million or more, which is updated throughout the week.

Send an email to Maria Di Mento.