Blankenship pledges $300k to Marshall
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- The former head of Massey Energy is giving $300,000 to the medical school at Marshall University,
Don Blankenship is a graduate of Marshall. He was at the helm of Massey when an April 2010 explosion at West Virginia's Upper Big Branch mine killed 29 men.
Multiple investigations found that the explosion was caused by blatant disregard of federal safety laws.
Blankenship retired in December 2010 and all but vanished from public view. Massey, meanwhile, was bought out by Virginia-based Alpha Natural Resources.
Marshall officials say Blankenship made the gift to honor his late mother, Nancy Marie McCoy. For three years, 10 second-year medical students will each get $10,000 toward tuition.
Blankenship said in a statement he's fortunate to be able to help address a physician shortage.