updated 1/2/2008 2:05:00 PM ET 2008-01-02T19:05:00

West Virginia University graduate Ken Kendrick has given his alma mater a Fiesta Bowl welcoming gift: $1 million.

The West Virginia native made the donation in his new home state of Arizona on Monday, two days before WVU plays the Oklahoma Sooners in the Fiesta Bowl.

"While I have been critical of recent events in the athletic department, I have made this gift because I love West Virginia University and West Virginia," Kendrick said in a statement released by WVU on Tuesday. "I only want what's best for my university."

Kendrick, an avid WVU sports booster, has criticized the school since Rich Rodriguez left the Mountaineers to take over as the head football coach at the University of Michigan in December.

WVU President Mike Garrison said he worked things out with Kendrick at a meeting Monday.

"I know that he cares about the university, our students and our athletic programs," Garrison said in a statement. "He has shared some very constructive suggestions with me."

Kendrick also shared $1,012,500 with the WVU Foundation for scholarships. The donation equals WVU's tab for unsold Fiesta Bowl tickets.

Kendrick graduated from WVU in 1965 and later founded Datatel Inc., which develops software for managing technology for colleges and universities. Kendrick also is managing general partner of the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team. Other business interests include investments in a Phoenix theater and a ranch and outdoor adventure company.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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