John Paulson Gives 'Unprecedented Gift' To Harvard University
Harvard University President Drew Faust announced on Wednesday that John A. Paulson has pledged a donation of $400 million to the university's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). The school and its deanship will be renamed in Paulson's honor.
The gift will be the largest in history for the country's oldest academic institution, topping topping the $350 million given by investor Gerald Chan to the Harvard School of Public Health last September.
Wednesday's announcement comes two years into the Ivy League school's five-year campaign to raise $6.5 billion. The university has already topped $5 billion.
Paulson's hedge fund, Paulson and Co., notably netted $15 billion by betting against an overheating housing market before the financial crisis. His personal fortune is estimated by Forbes at about $11.2 billion, and as of the latest 13F filing period, his equity portfolio was worth more than $19 billion, according to Whale Wisdom.
Paulson's donation will help construct a new, state-of-the-art campus for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences adjacent to the Harvard Business School in Boston's Allston neighborhood. In an email to Harvard Business School Alumni, Dean Nitin Nohria said that Allston holds the potential to become "a hub of entrepreneurship and discovery" in the city.
Since its establishment in 2007, the SEAS has grown its faculty by 30 percent and more than doubled its course enrollment.
"This unprecedented gift will advance each of those efforts as we further develop plans for expansion into new spaces in Allston," Faust wrote in a separate letter.
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