Koch: philanthropic naming rights should have expiration date

Posted on: May 13, 2010

In Wednesday’s (5/12) Wall Street Journal, Erica Orden writes, “Billionaire David H. Koch’s name is everywhere. There’s the David H. Koch Dinosaur Wing at the American Museum of Natural History, thanks to a $20 million gift. His $100 million donation created the David H. Koch Theater in Lincoln Center. And a $15 million donation led to the March opening of the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. But Mr. Koch hardly wants those institutions to keep those names. Naming rights have factored into many of Mr. Koch’s charitable gifts, and the industrialist has recently embarked on a campaign to ensure others will have similar naming opportunities available. … In an interview, Mr. Koch said the terms of his 2008 gift to the theater at Lincoln Center dictate that his name on the building should expire after 50 years. ‘I’ve strongly requested in my remarks on a couple of occasions to the audience at the theater that they, too, should consider letting their name expire in 50 years on whatever they choose to give to, so that the trustees can then use that aspect to raise money,’ said Mr. Koch.”

Posted May 13, 2010