In a recent interview of Terry and Mary Kohler with Philanthropy Magazine, Mrs. Kohler mentioned an early grant to The Institute of World Politics when asked about their greatest philanthropic achievement:
Philanthropy: What do you consider your greatest philanthropic achievement?
Mary Kohler: I would have to say a pittance of money, somewhere between $5,000 and $25,000, that I gave to a young man whose name was John Lenczowski, who had this notion that he was going to start a graduate school in international relations from the free market perspective. That’s now the Institute of World Politics, a growing organization. I gave him money when he had no money and didn’t know who else to ask.
The grant, which was in the amount $25,000, helped launch the Institute in its first planning year, during which IWP was fundraising, recruiting faculty, developing curricula, forming a strategic plan for the school’s launch, putting together its first board of trustees and board of advisors, and cementing its relationship with Boston University.
John Lenczowski, founder and president of IWP, comments: “It was indeed quite a moment in my life when the Kohlers decided to support my plans for a new school. I started with three $5,000 grants and had to start meeting a payroll. Soon afterward, Mary and Terry came through with $25,000, which was more than a quarter of our first year’s budget. That year (1991), we had one miracle after another! You cannot imagine how grateful I remain for everything the Kohlers did to get us off the ground.”