Jeff Aronson, cofounder and managing principal of Centerbridge Partners LP, recently came to our attention when he, along with his wife Shari, gave a $10 million gift to Johns Hopkins University to create the Aronson Center for International Studies. It appears to be the largest gift by the couple to date, after a long record of much more modest sums to Johns Hopkins, Aronson's alma mater.
As we started digging into the Aronsons' philanthropy, we found a couple with a long track record of supporting their alma maters, with other interests as well. Here are a few must-knows:
1. Higher Education is a Huge Interest of the Couple
The Jeffrey H. and Shari L. Aronson Family Foundation held over $100 million assets in a recent year, and gave away under $2 million. A lof this money has been dedicated toward higher education support, particularly at the couple's alma maters. Johns Hopkins is the big winner here, even apart from the couple's latest $10 milion gift, with under $600,000 going to the school in 2012, and a little more than $1 million going to the school in 2013 alone. Aronson has sat on the board of trustees at Johns Hopkins since 2006, and has chaired the board since 2012. Aronson also has a law degree from NYU, which received $100,000 from the couple in 2013. Shari, meanwhile, graduated from Lehigh, which has been steadily supported as well. University of Pittsburgh, Bankstreet College of Education, and Williams College have also been supported.
2. Aronson is Also Interested in K-12 Education
Teach for America, Breakthrough Collaborative, Harlem RBI, the Fund for Public Schools, and Harlem Village Academies are some of the recent outfits supported by the Aronsons. A lot of these outfits are located in the New York City area, where a lot of the couple's philanthropy is focused. The couple also supports Bottom Line, whose goal is to help "high school juniors and seniors get into college and support them when they are there."
3. The Couple is Interested in Jewish Causes
They gave more than $100,000 to the Jewish Museum in 2013, and the UJA Federation of New York received at least $125,000 in 2013. They've also supported the Birthright Israel Foundation and the JCC of Mid-Westchester.
4. They've Given Assorted Sums Elsewhere
Apart from these two focus areas, money coming from the Jeffrey H. and Shari L. Aronson Family Foundation has been spread rather thinly. In health, the couple has supported A Kid's Brain Tumor Cure, Blythesdale Children's Hospital, and the Lungevity Foundation, among others. The couple has also supported Environmental Advocates of New York.
Related: Jeffrey Aronson Profile