filed in Daily Buzz News on Apr.23, 2012
An alumnus and member of the school’s Board of Overseers has pledged $25 million toward construction of Columbia Business School (CBS)’s new facilities in Manhattanville, the school announced today. The gift – from Leon G. Cooperman ’67, CEO of Omega Advisors – is the second major donation toward the new business school campus and follows a $100 million gift made by alumnus Henry Kravis in October 2010.
“I strongly believe that it is my moral imperative to give others the opportunity to pursue the American Dream, and I actively support institutions that gave me such opportunities,” Cooperman said in a statement announcing the gift. “The educational needs of leaders and entrepreneurs have evolved, and the new Manhattanville facilities will support Columbia Business School’s commitment to preparing the business leaders of tomorrow.”
This most recent gift by Cooperman is far from the first time he has given back to his alma mater. In 2007 he established the Leon G. Cooperman ’67 Scholarship Challenge, providing half of the funding for 40 need-based scholarships at the school. In 2000, he initiated the Leon Cooperman Scholarship to support students with financial need, with preference to graduates of New York City public schools. And in 1995, he endowed the Leon Cooperman Professorship of Finance and Economics in 1995, a chair held by Professor Geert Bekaert since 2000.
“Leon Cooperman’s generosity toward the Business School has given students the key to a door that would otherwise have been closed to them,” CBS Dean Glenn Hubbard said in a statement. “Now he is making sure that these world-class students have facilities that meet their needs,” he continued.
The new Manhattanville campus will create multi-functional spaces designed to foster a sense of community and encourage the open exchange of ideas between students, faculty members and the larger business world. It will also help to broaden CBS’s community service programs, including the Columbia Community Business Program, through which CBS students provide guidance and support to entrepreneurs in West Harlem.
Cooperman and his wife, Toby, have taken the Giving Pledge advocated by Warren Buffett MS ’51 and Bill Gates, committing to give half of their wealth to charity.
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