Kenneth Griffin has undoubtedly become Harvard’s favorite alumnus. The University announced Wednesday that the Citadel founder and CEO has made the largest gift in Harvard College history: $150 million, which will primarily go toward supporting the school’s financial aid program.
Griffin’s gift is expected to help as many as 800 undergraduates annually, and will establish a cohort of 200 Griffin Scholarship recipients, according to the Harvard Gazette. The hefty donation will also provide matching funds through the new Griffin Leadership Challenge Fund for Financial Aid — an initiative that will open up 600 scholarships and hopefully inspire other alumni and friends to contribute to the school’s financial aid program.
The chief executive described his latest gift as “an investment in the next generation of leaders.” Following his 10th College class reunion, Griffin established a scholarship in honor of his grandfather, Wayne R. Gratz. As Griffin prepares to celebrate his 25th class reunion in May, the Harvard College Office of Financial Aid will be renamed the Griffin Financial Aid Office and the head of that office will be deemed the Griffin Director of Financial Aid.
Talk about a warm welcoming back to campus.
Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust lauded Griffin’s philanthropic efforts, saying in a statement:
Ken Griffin’s extraordinary philanthropy is opening Harvard’s gates wider to the most talented students in the world, no matter their economic circumstances. Harvard is more accessible than ever before, and, with an increased focus on teaching, learning, and research across the University, we are better prepared to educate young scholars in all areas of academic inquiry.
Griffin’s gift will also be felt across the river at Harvard Business School. The new Griffin Professorship of Business Administration will be established with the help of $10 million — celebrating a faculty member “who excels in teaching and the case method, and who generates the field-based intellectual capital that advances the practice of management.”
The news comes mere months after Harvard publicly launched a $6.5 billion fundraising campaign — the largest capital campaign ever undertaken by an institution of higher learning.
As Griffin noted in a statement:
It is extremely important that students of all backgrounds have the opportunity to challenge themselves, learn to solve complex problems and ultimately better our world. My goal with this gift is to help ensure that Harvard’s need-blind admission policy continues, and that our nation’s best and brightest have continued access to this outstanding institution.
Image via Citadel