Rudd Foundation gives $150,000 to Koch Global Trading Center

Leslie Rudd ’81 says the center will give students the career skills they need

Leslie Rudd says the Koch Global Trading Center will send WSU graduates into the work force with concrete business skills.
Leslie Rudd says the Koch Global Trading Center will send WSU graduates into the work force with concrete business skills.

The funding campaign for the Koch Global Trading Center at Wichita State recently topped the $1 million mark with a gift of $150,000 from the Rudd Foundation, founded by entrepreneur Leslie Rudd ’81.

    Rudd said he is pleased to support a project that will offer WSU students a unique educational experience.

    “I think it’s a good investment in the future of our university,” said Rudd, CEO of Leslie Rudd Investment Company and owner of Standard Beverage Corp. “The Trading Center will provide training and knowledge relevant to the business community and valuable to employers. It will also help the university attract the best and brightest faculty and students.”

    Though the original goal for the trading center funding campaign was $1 million, the WSU Foundation will continue to solicit gifts to ensure the center’s financial stability, said Elizabeth King, WSU Foundation president and CEO.

    “Through the generosity of the Rudd Foundation, we were able to celebrate surpassing the $1 million mark,” King said. “That provides a tremendous foundation for this worthy initiative.”


“Our hope is that the trading center will establish WSU as a leader in business education and better prepare our students for the future.”

- Leslie Rudd

    Rudd, who recently was given emeritus status on the WSU Foundation’s National Advisory Council, has supported Wichita State for more than 30 years. He and family members created a scholarship to honor his mother, Elenore Rudd, and he also supports the Rudd Foundation Fellow in the W. Frank Barton School of Business.

    What drew his support to the Koch Global Trading Center, Rudd said, was learning about its mission to give students a comprehensive understanding of how markets work and how trading concepts apply to many areas of business.

    “The goal of every university should be to push students to be more prepared for the increasingly competitive marketplace,” he said. “Our hope is that the trading center will establish WSU as a leader in business education and better prepare our students for the future.”

    Rudd has successfully navigated the world of business on several fronts. His entrepreneurial focus is primarily on luxury businesses such as Rudd Oakville Estate and Edge Hill Estate wineries, Oakville Grocery, Dean & Deluca and PRESS Restaurant.

    A friend to Charles Koch, whose Koch Industries provided the lead gift for the trading center, Rudd said the best piece of advice he would give WSU business students as they prepare for careers is to learn the theories of Koch’s Market Based Management. That philosophy is explained in Koch’s book, “The Science of Success.”

    “The book not only explains the importance of understanding markets but also the significance of fundamental principles such as honesty, integrity, respect, humility and creating real value,” Rudd said. “These things, when combined with a passion for what you do, will enhance your personal and professional life for years to come.”

    The Koch Global Trading Center is scheduled to open this summer in Clinton Hall. Its goal is to prepare students for careers in the financial and energy markets and educate them about the impact trading activities have on all aspects of a business.

    

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