With the latest $150 million donation, it’s easy to think the wealthy university’s wealthy alumni simply shower them with riches. Okay, they sort of do, but it’s important to look at such gifts in the context of the school’s powerful and strategic fundraising machine, as well as some national trends. Even a record-breaking donation is just the tip of the iceberg.
Legend has it that Kenneth Griffin first started trading stock options from his dorm room in Harvard, and now he wants to make good by giving $150 million to his alma mater. But who exactly is he, and what does he do with his substantial hedge fund wealth?
Drexel University Law will no longer bear the name of donor Earle I. Mack ('59), who donated $15 million 2 years after the school graduated its first class. Made available in full-text glory here by an anonymous Drexel Law alum and blogger, the e-mail the school sent out regarding the decision was congenial to a fault and leaves many remaining questions.
Trinity Washington University received one quarter of the total money they need to fund a new $40 million academic center from alumna Joan Payden. Construction will begin summer 2014. Payden, who earned who earned her BA from Trinity in physics and math, now runs an $80 billion investment firm in LA: Payden & Rygel.