WVU receives $25 million to support outdoor economic development

Oct 05, 2020

A $25 million gift to West Virginia University from Intuit executive Brad Smith and his wife, Alys, will fund innovative new programs to ignite West Virginia’s economy, develop world-class recreational infrastructure and expand outdoor educational opportunities.

Through the newly named Brad and Alys Smith Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative, the donation – one of the largest in WVU’s history – will provide initial funding for a remote worker program, a groundbreaking initiative designed to help individuals and young families prosper amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Smiths’ transformational gift was announced today (Oct. 5) during a virtual event hosted by WVU President Gordon Gee.

“I truly appreciate the faith that Brad and Alys have placed in West Virginia University,” Gee said. “This exceptional investment represents a shared commitment to reshaping our state’s future, an undertaking only achievable through their generosity, trust and vision.”

As more and more people work remotely, the statewide remote worker program at WVU aims to leverage West Virginia’s outdoor assets to bring fresh talent to the Mountain State, cultivate dynamic communities, and continue to fuel the entrepreneurial and innovative thinking of West Virginia. The program will target fully employed individuals from outside the state who can work anywhere and want to be part of a contemporary, experience-driven lifestyle. Outdoor enthusiasts or young families who can help create a more diverse, inclusive and purposeful community will be given preference in a competitive application process.

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