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April 21, 2016

Big Donations for Villanova Hoops and U. of Sydney Medicine

Fresh off winning the NCAA men’s basketball championship earlier this month, Villanova University has received a $22.6 million gift to renovate its aging Philadelphia arena, the Pavilion, reports the Associated Press.

The donation from Bill Finneran, an investment executive and Villanova alumnus, will also provide overall support for the men’s basketball program. Mr. Finneran is chairman and co-founder of EXOP Capital, a New York hedge fund. The 6,500-seat Pavilion, opened in 1986, has few restrooms or concession stands and lacks high-end amenities such as suites.

Australian property moguls Isaac and Susan Wakil are giving the University of Sydney $27.3 million toward development of a new health precinct in the city’s central business district, the Sydney Morning Herald writes.

The Wakils made a fortune in the garment trade before turning to real estate in the 1970s. They began selling off their portfolio in 2014 to raise money for their charitable foundation, collecting at least $156 million to date. The new gift will fund construction of a building housing the university’s medical, nursing, pharmacy, and other health-related programs.