The 15 biggest private donations to universities by the ultra rich
Tim P. Whitby/Getty
- Here are the 15 largest donations to public and private colleges, tracked using data from The Chronicle of Higher Education.
- The largest donation belongs to billionaire and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.
- Nike co-founder Phil Knight has made several donations above $100 million to schools on the West Coast.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Billionaire Robert F. Smith shocked the nation after announcing he would pay off all student loans for the 400-person graduating class at Atlanta's Morehouse College.
The gift, which reportedly amounts to $40 million, differs from other college donations because it goes toward eliminating college debt for students. Philanthropists and billionaires typically give colleges millions to fund programs or build new schools.
The largest gift in higher education belongs to Michael Bloomberg, who recently donated $1.8 billion to make his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University, "need-blind."
The Chronicle of Higher Education, which tracks major donations to higher education after 1967, updated its list of the priciest single donations to universities and colleges earlier this month. The Chronicle found over 100 donations that totaled $101 million or more.
Here are the 15 most generous single-time donations to colleges and universities since 1967. (The list excludes donations to educational institutes or programs.)
15. Chuck Feeney, who helped pioneer duty-free shopping, donated $350 million to Cornell University in 2011.
14. An anonymous donor gave $360 million to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a private research university in Troy, New York, in 2001.
T-13. Nike co-founder and billionaire Philip Knight donated $400 million to Stanford University in 2016.
T-13. The Hewlett Foundation donated $400 million to Stanford University in 2001, at the time the single largest gift to an American college or university.
T-13. Hedge-fund manager John A. Paulson donated $400 million to Harvard University in 2015.
T-13. Television mogul John W. Kluge donated $400 million to Columbia University in 2007.
T-13. Holocaust survivors Howard and Lottie Marcus donated $400 million to Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel in 2016.
8. Terry Gou, founder of electronics company Foxconn, donated $454 million to fund a cancer hospital at National Taiwan University in 2007.
T-7. In 2015, Knight donated $500 million to Oregon Health & Science University to fund cancer research.
T-7. Helen Diller, wife of real estate billionaire Sanford Diller, donated $500 million to the University of California-San Francisco last year.
T-7. Knight donated $500 million to Oregon University in 2016, the largest donation to a public flagship university in US history.
T-3. Florence Irving donated $600 million in funds to Columbia University and NewYork-Presbyterian to fund cancer research on behalf of her and her husband, Herbert.
T-3. Intel co-founder Gordon Moore and his wife, Betty, donated $600 million over 10 years to the California Institute of Technology in 2001.
2. Anil Agarwal, an Indian metals and mining magnate who has a net worth of $3.5 billion, donated $1 billion to fund a research university in Odisha.
1. Michael Bloomberg's donation of $1.8 billion to Johns Hopkins University.
- Grit, tears, joy: Novak Djokovic claims his 10th Australian Open crown, moves closer to ending the GOAT debate
- Manu Kumar Jain departs from Xiaomi, nearly a decade after working for the Chinese smartphone maker
- L&T reports ₹2,553 crore Q3 net profit, sees boost from major private capex investments
- Tech Mahindra’s Q3 net profit slips 5.2% on year to ₹1,297 crore
- Rumors suggest OnePlus is testing V Fold and V Flip foldable smartphones