Columbia Business School announced Thursday that Ronald O. Perelman, Chairman and CEO of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc. and a member of the School’s Board of Overseers, has pledged $100 million to Columbia Business School. The pledge matches the school’s largest gift ever, and will support the development of Columbia’s Manhattanville Campus.
In recognition of Mr. Perelman’s generosity, the business school will name one of its two buildings on the new campus the Ronald O. Perelman Center for Business Innovation.
Columbia President Lee C. Bollinger said this gift would benefit future generations of Columbia Business School students as well as the wider university community.
“Our world has been changed by the global marketplace, so business schools and universities must respond with new thinking and new structures for learning about our economy and society,” Bollinger said. “The Perelman Center will be part of an interdisciplinary and environmentally sustainable urban campus that will help define Columbia’s next century.”
Perelman has been a longtime member of the Columbia Business School community, serving on its Board of Overseers since 1994. He is an active philanthropist who believes powerful results can be achieved when financial resources are leveraged with human resolve.
“Throughout the past four decades Ronald has proven himself to be one of the most accomplished investors and philanthropists of his time. He displays the type of instinct and insight that are hallmarks of a true leader — the very same traits that we seek to instill in our students here at Columbia Business School,” said Glenn Hubbard, Dean of Columbia Business School.
Hubbard noted that the new Perelman Center would allow Columbia to pioneer breakthroughs in management education and help create the classrooms of tomorrow.
The two new Business School buildings on the Manhattanville campus will be designed by renowned New York architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro and will reflect the fast-paced, high-tech, and highly social character of business in the 21st century. The Ronald O. Perelman Center for Business Innovation will be situated opposite The Henry R. Kravis Building, which is named in recognition of a 2010 gift made by alumnus Henry R. Kravis ’69.
When announcing his generous gift, Perelman said, “The business landscape is changing rapidly and dramatically, and as such the principles that define strong business leadership — such as an entrepreneurial mindset and solving complex challenges — are more important now than ever before.”
“It is our responsibility to ensure that we are building a generation of great business leaders who drive success in an ever-changing, competitive global economy,” Perelman added, “and I believe Columbia Business School has its finger on the pulse of the changing nature of business education. I am extraordinarily pleased to pledge this gift to help them prepare the next generation of business leaders for 21st century challenges.”
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