MORGANTOWN -- The West Virginia University Foundation is recognizing one of WVU's biggest benefactors by permanently naming one of the Foundation's most significant awards in his honor.
Established in 2005, the Foundation's outstanding philanthropist award will now be known as the Milan "Mike" Puskar Outstanding Philanthropist Award. Puskar was the inaugural recipient of this award.
"Mike has been a real game-changer in the growth and development of West Virginia University," said R. Wayne King, president and CEO of the WVU Foundation. "He has been a tremendous supporter over the years, and most deserving of this recognition."
Co-founder and former chairman of Mylan Laboratories Inc., Puskar has contributed more than $22 million to the WVU Foundation for the benefit of WVU. His largest gift was a $20 million contribution for the University's Building Greatness campaign in 2003. He has the distinction of making the largest one-time cash gift in the Foundation's history.
About $14.5 million of that donation went to WVU's Department of Intercollegiate Athletics for endowed athletic scholarships and facility upgrades. About $5.5 million went toward academics to establish the Puskar Leadership Scholars in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, the Milan Puskar Presidential Chair and the Milan Puskar Deanship in the College of Business and Economics.
Also, during Puskar's tenure as chairman of the board of directors of Mylan, the company gave more than $6 million to the Foundation.
"West Virginia University is very fortunate to have a loyal donor like Mike Puskar who so passionately cares about the institution and its people," said Lyn Dotson, Foundation vice president for development. "On behalf of the Foundation and its many donors, we salute Mike for establishing a wonderful model of generosity."
Puskar received an honorary doctorate from WVU in 2000, and was inducted into WVU's Order of Vandalia in 2003, an honor given in recognition to extraordinary service to the University
He is a member of the Woodburn Circle Society, the Foundation's most prestigious philanthropic society.
Puskar was honored at the Foundation's annual Woodburn Circle Society Induction Ceremony and Dinner June 3.
The WVU Foundation is a private, nonprofit corporation that generates, receives and administers private gifts for the benefit if WVU.