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Koch brothers donate $25 million to United Negro College Fund

"Increasing well-being by helping people improve their lives has long been our focus," says Charles Koch.
By Matt Bradwell   |   June 6, 2014 at 1:49 PM  |  Updated June 7, 2014 at 4:37 AM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, June 6 (UPI) -- Controversial Republican donors Charles and David Koch pledged a $25 million dollar grant to the United Negro College Fund on Friday.

$18.5 million will help fund roughly 3,000 merit-based scholarships for African-Americans seek a college education while the remaining $6.5 million is divided between historically black colleges and universities and UNCF's own budgetary needs.

"We have tremendous respect for UNCF and we are hopeful this investment will further its effectiveness in helping students pursue their dreams," Charles Koch said in a statement. "Increasing well-being by helping people improve their lives has long been our focus."

The Koch brothers have been a source of political jockeying in recent months, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid eliciting an ethics complaint from far-right lobbyists for portraying them as the face of American greed, a charge his office casually rebuffed.

Despite the Koch's poor reputation within America's environmental, humanitarian and labor communities, UNCF President and CEO Dr. Michael Lomax said his nonprofit is "enormously grateful" for the gift and any criticisms lobbied toward UNCF are worth it to send more deserving kids to college.

"Criticism is a small price for helping young people get the chance to realize their dream of a college education, and if I've got to bear the brunt of someone else's criticism to ensure that we have the resources to help those students, then I can handle it, and I can take the heat."
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