Let There Be Consolidation: Another Alumni Gift to Bring Stuff Under One Roof

More than any other type of donor psychographic, alumni, by their very definition, are a predictable lot. Meanwhile, as we noted in a recent post on higher ed donor Jerome Chazen, grant recipients appreciate predictability.

Another relatively predictable donor couple is Louis Simpson and his wife Kimberly Querrey.

We say "relatively" because last year, when the couple gave a whopping $92 million to support a new 12-story research hub at Northwestern, we couldn't help but note the following:

What's interesting about Simpson and Querrey is that there doesn't appear to be a personal story here, at least from the perspective of, say, a health challenge in the Simpson family. Simpson did attend Northwestern, however, and has been on the Northwestern University board since 2006.

Now comes recent news that Simpsons gave $20 million gift to fund the Louis A. Simpson *60 International Building (asterisk intended) at, predictably enough, Louis' alma mater, Princeton University. The building, expected to be completed this summer, will be the home of the university's many international initiatives.

This gift comes on the heels of a $10 million gift in 2015 to established the Louis A. Simpson Center for the Study of Macroeconomics at the University's Department of Economics. 

The new building, meanwhile, will be home to a number of offices and academic units, including the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies; the Kathryn W. and Shelby Cullom Davis '30 International Center, which provides support for international students and scholars; and the Council for International Teaching and Research, which facilitates the efforts of departments, schools, centers and programs to participate in exchanges of students and scholars with institutions around the world.

In a way, the gift mirrors a spate of recent university-based diversity and inclusion efforts, where donor dollars fund the physical consolidation of various offices, departments, and programs under one roof. Business leaders will tell you that such efforts boost productivity, integration, and economies of scale.

At any rate, given the benefits of consolidation, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise to learn that Simpson has run in major financial circles for decades and is currently chairman of the Florida-based investment advisory firm SQ Advisors. He's also the former president and CEO of capital operations at Geico.