For the second time in less than a year, Harvard University announced its largest-ever gift: $400 million from hedge fund manager John Paulson.
The gift will create an endowment to support the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), which will be renamed the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. A 1980 graduate of Harvard Business School, Paulson is president and founder of investment management firm Paulson & Co. in New York City.
The gift comes nine months after Harvard announced what was previously its largest-ever gift, $350 million from The Morningside Foundation for the School of Public Health. The foundation was established by the family of the late T.H. Chan and the school will be renamed the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Harvard is almost two years into the public phase of a seven-year comprehensive campaign, The Harvard Campaign, that aims to raise $6.5 billion. The Cambridge, Mass.-based university announced in February that the campaign surpassed $5 billion, from more than 300,000 donors. It’s the first time all of Harvard’s 13 schools will participate during for the duration of the university campaign.
SEAS is planning for expansion in the Allston neighborhood, adjacent to Harvard Business School and the Harvard Innovation Lab, and will be at the “center of a community of entrepreneurs and innovators in an emerging research enterprise zone,” according to Harvard.
“SEAS is the next frontier for Harvard, and its expanding campus in Allston promises to become the next major center of innovation. As an alumnus of Harvard, one who has benefited greatly from the education I received here, it is both a privilege and an honor to support this endeavor,” Paulson said in a statement announcing the gift.
In 2012, Paulson made a $100-million gift to the Central Park Conservancy, where he serves on the board. He also serves on the boards of the Harvard Business School Board of Dean’s Advisors, New York University, the 92nd Street Y, Metropolitan Museum of Arts, and Council on Foreign Relations.
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