Milan Puskar makes $20 million donation to WVU

Today, West Virginia University President David C. Hardesty Jr. announced that Milan Puskar has made a $20 million personal commitment to WVU and its Building Greatness Campaign in support of athletics and academics.

"This is an extraordinary gift from an extraordinary man," Hardesty said. "This gift enables us to take a major step forward and moves the Building Greatness Campaign beyond the $300 million mark. The gift reflects Mike's appreciation of the importance of the University's mission of teaching, research and service. His generosity will find its legacy and future successes on the playing field and, especially, in the lives of our students."

"This gift is the single largest gift ever made to the WVU Foundation for the benefit of West Virginia University," stated Duke Perry, President and CEO of the WVU Foundation. "The University and the Foundation are fortunate to have such a generous and good friend. Mike Puskar has a distinguished record of support for this institution. There are no words or awards that will ever be able to capture WVU's appreciation for Mike Puskar and the legacy he has established through his commitment of giving."

"We are very appreciative of Mike Puskar and his vision for West Virginia University athletics," added Ed Pastilong, WVU director of athletics. "This is a major step forward in completing the athletic department's strategic plan, which was approved by the WVU Board of Governors. Mike's generous gift will address needed capital improvements for athletics and will also underwrite many student-athlete scholarships for years to come."

Steve Douglas, president of the WVU Alumni Association, also noted the impact of Puskar's gift.

"WVU's alumni are ardent fans who take great pride in our athletic teams," Douglas said. "Maintaining a competitive athletic program in the years ahead is one of their primary concerns. I know they will be very pleased with this generous gift and the enormous impact it will have on our facilities and students athletes as well as the strengthening of our academic quality."

Milan Puskar is the co-founder and Chairman of Mylan Laboratories Inc., one of the largest and most successful generic pharmaceutical companies in the United States. An entrepreneur and philanthropist, Puskar credits his parents, Serbian immigrants, with teaching him the spirit of giving. Little did WVU know the impact of those lessons.

Puskar and an associate founded Mylan Laboratories Inc in 1961.

Beginning in 1972, Puskar served as vice president and general manager of ICN Pharmaceuticals in Cincinnati, Ohio, until 1975 when he became a partner in Elan Corp. in Dublin, Ireland. He returned to Mylan in 1976 as its president, took on the additional duties of vice chairman in 1991 and became chairman in 1993. Puskar served on the commission of the Federal Drug Approval Process and is one of the founders of the Generic Pharmaceutical Industry Association.

Puskar has received numerous awards and recognitions throughout his illustrious career, including induction into the Order of Vandalia, the highest honor WVU bestows on an individual. Puskar has also received honorary doctorate degrees from WVU, Duquesne University and Fairmont State College.

The WVU Foundation is a private non-profit corporation that generates and provides support for West Virginia University. Puskar's gift was made to the WVU Foundation in conjunction with the $250 million Building Greatness Campaign, which concludes Dec. 31, 2003.

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