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Generous Columbia Alum Donates Additional $25 Million for New Manhattanville Campus

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Columbia Business School (CBS), already in the throes of a year-long celebration of its centennial anniversary, has even more cause to pop the champagne thanks to an additional influx of $25 million toward development of its new Manhattanville campus, the school announced on Friday. Billionaire private-equity investor Henry Kravis ’69, who in 2010 pledged $100 million toward CBS’s new campus, has upped his donation to $125 million, building upon the school’s significant fundraising momentum.

“Manhattanville will be transformative for the business school,” Kravis said in a statement, stressing the collaborative nature of how business is done today. “The business school is being designed to take advantage of [this], as well as have the flexibility to adapt to whatever changes are going to be necessary to teach business courses in the future,” he continued.

In recognition of his earlier gift, one of the two buildings on the Manhattanville campus—located between West 125th and West 133rd Streets, north of the current business school—will be called the Henry R. Kravis Building. The complex, which will also include the Ronald O. Perelman Center for Business Innovation, will more than double the school’s current size, comprising 468,000 total square feet of space.

Designed by New York architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, in collaboration with FXFowle, the buildings will feature spaces that encourage collaboration across disciplines, as well as state-of-the-art classrooms, an alumni welcome center and specific areas for recruiting, team projects and entrepreneurship. The new business school facilities are slated to open in 2018.

Kravis is not the only CBS alum to up his donation to the school in the past year. Leon Cooperman ’67 and Mario Gabelli ’67 each pledged an additional $6 million to their existing gifts of $25 million and $15 million, respectively. In addition, the past year has also included generous gifts from Bloomberg Philanthropies, Board of Overseers members Andy Barth ’85, Lew Frankfort ’69, Paul Hilal ’92, Lulu Wang ’83 and David Zalaznick ’78 and an anonymous $5 million gift, the school reports. As of June 30th, the school has received 38 gifts of $1 million or more for Manhattanville, including eight gifts that are between $5 million and $10 million and seven gifts of $10 million or more.

“Thanks to the vision and generosity of Henry and our other Columbia Business School alumni and friends, our new home in Manhattanville will help propel the school into a very bright future,” CBS Dean Glenn Hubbard said in a statement. “The new facility will allow students, alumni, faculty and neighboring communities to collaborate and not only transform the practice of business, but also help improve the world in which we live.”

Kravis, for his part, is on a donating rampage. According to Inside Philanthropy, the Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Foundation in May pledged $100 million for the creation of a new laboratory and extension of the campus of Rockefeller University. A year earlier, in May 2014, Kravis donated another $100 million to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the Wall Street Journal reported. Kravis has also donated at least $85 million to his undergraduate alma mater Claremont McKenna College, notes Inside Philanthropy.