Gift to UB Will Promote Economic Development

By Cynthia Machamer

Release Date: April 13, 2007

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A major gift from Frederick J. Kogut, who earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University at Buffalo in 1960 and 1965, respectively, will help promote rural development in third world countries, especially on the African continent, as well as helping rural communities in upstate New York.

The gift, named in honor of his late brother, Joseph W. Kogut, who graduated from UB in 1966, will establish the Joseph W. Kogut Economic Development Award in the Department of Economics in the College of Arts and Sciences. Joseph Kogut died on May 1, 2005.

"I'm honored to be able to establish this fund in my brother's name," said Frederick Kogut. "He was passionate about volunteerism in rural communities and would be humbled by the thought of enabling similar experiences for UB students."

A third Kogut brother, Kenneth, also attended UB, earning a bachelor's degree in 1964. All three brothers played football for the university and were members of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity.

The Kogut award will be presented to a student majoring in economics who wishes to enhance his or her experience beyond the classroom by engaging in efforts related to improving the economic development of two disparate areas of special interest to Joseph Kogut: Africa, where he spent time as a member of the Peace Corps, or his hometown region of upstate New York. The award also will support a student's desire to join the Peace Corps or conduct independent research or participate in an internship related to rural development.

"We are grateful for Frederick's gift in memory of his brother," said Bruce D. McCombe, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. "His recognition of Joseph's commitment to promoting economic development resonates with UB's commitment to, and strategic strength in, civic engagement with the regional, national and international communities we serve."

After Joseph Kogut graduated from UB with a bachelor's degree in economics, he served in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia and Nigeria for three years. His specialty was rural development, focusing specifically on fish ponds in Nigeria and coffee plantations in Ethiopia. Following his return to the United States, Kogut became a partner in Kogut Electric, Inc., in Utica, a company founded after World War II by his father and uncle.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the State University of New York.