Like many other high net worth families, the Perelmans like to support their alma maters. Two months before Raymond Perelman's wife of 70 years passed away in July 2011, the couple made the hugest philanthropic financial decision of their lives — to endow UPenn with $225 million to fund the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine. This grant is particularly unusual for a family foundation that likes to keep its grants in New York (see Perelman Family Foundation: New York Grants).
The $225 million endowment lands the Perelmans within the top 10 of individual donors in the United States for 2011. When asked about the endowment, the Perelmans noted their growing concerns regarding the state of the U.S. health care system, and Mr. Perelman further stated "I now see what modern medicine can do for patients, how much better it is today. To keep it going in the right direction, we have to have more doctors over the next couple of years.”
The endowment does not come with any restrictions regarding how UPenn must spend the money. School officials have stated that their plans so far are to increase their medical research staff as well as financial aid funding for its medical students. The $225 million endowment gift comes just six years after the generous couple donated $25- for the Ruth and Raymond Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine.
At 93, the elder Perelman is still focused on his philanthropic endeavors, as is his youngest son Ron, whose net worth is estimated at $6 billion (read Ron Perelman's IP profile). However, his good deeds could possibly be overshadowed by the ongoing legal battle with his other son Jeffrey. In my neck of the woods, family matters aren't aired in a public forum. Then again, my neck of the woods isn't billionaire's row. Regardless, I'll refrain from airing the Perelman's here.