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It’s been a big few weeks for business school donations. First, the Wharton School announced that they’d received a $10 million donation to create a deferred enrollment program for University of Pennsylvania undergrads.
Now, with the Haas School of Business and INSEAD receiving equally significant gifts, there seems to be a trend.
Haas’s gift is for $15 million, with the potential to grow by $5 million or $10 million after five years. The gift is the school’s largest ever from an alum under 40 and comes from Haas graduate Kevin Chou and his wife Connie Chen.
Much of the donation will go toward a new building Haas plans on opening later this year. Costing $60 million and funded entirely by donations, the building will add 80,000 square feet of classrooms and study areas. In honor of the $15 million donation, it will be called Connie and Kevin Chou Hall.
Chou, who is now 36, completed his bachelor’s at Haas in 2002. He cofounded game company Kabam, which subsequently sold for $800 million.
Chou said he was happy to already be giving back in such a big way: “I’m excited to be able to do this at this point in my career because I get to spend time with students and with Haas professors and other administrators, collaborating and helping them think about the new student space and the program.”
The same week as Haas landed their biggest gift from an alum under the age of 40, though, INSEAD was setting an even bigger milestone: their largest gift ever from an individual donor.
The €10 million gift comes from an anonymous donor who has now contributed over €20 million to the school in total.
INSEAD said it intended to use the gift to expand the school’s research and teaching related to entrepreneurship, including with new scholarships and academic positions.
Ilian Mihov, the school’s dean, said the gift would “transform the entrepreneurial ecosystem at INSEAD as well as inspire and empower faculty, entrepreneurs, students and alumni around the globe.”
The donor echoed this commitment to entrepreneurship: “As an entrepreneur myself, it is only natural that we support this strategic area and invest in future generations of INSEAD entrepreneurs.”
From expanding entrepreneurship teaching and research to building a new space to creating a deferred enrollment program, INSEAD, Haas and Wharton show that large gifts can be used in very different ways.
All three donations are part of a recent trend though, and all three are sure to make a difference in the experience students have at these institutions.
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