The law school at George Mason University is being named after Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the conservative justice who passed away in 2016 and many are pointing to the influence of Charles Koch in accordance with this naming. The Koch brothers have long been supporters of both Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and George Mason University and their donation of $10 million for the law school renaming, along with $20 million from an anonymous donor is more likely to be steeped in their great respect as well as the notable achievements of Justice Scalia rather than some ulterior motive.
There have been many critics of the Koch Brothers over the years, most closely related to the impact and support for various conservative politicians has had on the outcome of various political races both national and local races. Charles Koch earned his fortune from Koch Industries, the second largest private company in the United States and one that is diversified into a number of industries. They have been politically active since the 1970s and have supported various political groups from libertarians to Republicans, all with a focus on reducing the size of government and the waste that comes with it. The Koch brothers are believers in the constitution and the rights afforded to individuals under it.
While neither of the Koch brothers attended George Mason University there are some ties that Koch Industries have to the school, namely through some executives who are former alumni of the school. Though this is the case, the Koch Brothers significant contributions to George Mason University, to the tune of $48 million over a four year period not including the large $10 million donation noted above, dwarf other contributions to schools that the brothers have made. No other university received more than $1 million annually during the four month period noted above.
The sheer size of the contributions to George Mason University have led people to speculate what the cause of these large donations are. While George Mason University is located just outside of Washington DC, their contributions to the school seem unconnected to this. A spokesman for the Koch Brothers say that no contributions have strings attached to them. Instead, Charles Koch appreciates the significant contributions that George Mason University have made to society as well as their significant law and economics programs and the manner in which they help to benefit the country at large.