Thank you for giving

Usually the sound of gas being pumped means that money is being drained from a wallet. But now, the sound means more money for the wallets of Texas universities. Through the ExxonMobil Foundation’s 2008 Educational Matching Gift Program, Exxon has given $8.3 million to 73 universities across the Lone Star State, including Sam Houston State University.

Altogether, the university has received $60,475. Exxon and its employees, donating money through the foundation, raise the money for this fund.

According to the Dallas Business Journal website, “ExxonMobil’s gift fund to universities generally allows donors to pledge up to $7,500 per year to colleges or universities.

The reason behind ExxonMobil giving these gifts to the universities is to invest in the future and help universities “increase their level of excellence.”

Exxon’s philanthropy focuses on developing more math and science teachers, who can, in turn, educate more students to compete in subjects that will lead to careers such as scientists and engineers, the website stated.

Exxon matches the gifts given to the university by their employees and retirees on a 3-to-1 basis. SHSU submits a matching gift form to ExxonMobile each time they receive a donation, and once a year, the company matches it. For example, in April of 2009, Exxon matched all gifts given to the university in 2008.

The money that SHSU has received from this fund has gone to a variety of different places in the university.

“For general support, it went to college programs in Education, Business and Criminal Justice,” said Patsy Wuensche, gift records coordinator. “There was also general support for specific departments all across campus, and also scholarships in business, criminal justice, mass communication, theatre, biological sciences, and education.”

It is not uncommon for the university to receive money from Exxon.

“We have probably been receiving matching funds [from Exxon] for the past thirty years,” stated Wuensche.

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