May 18, 2015

Gifts Roundup: $150 Million to Yale for New Cultural Center

Michael Marsland

Stephen A. Schwarzman and Yale University president Peter Salovey in the university's Commons and Memorial Hall.

A roundup of notable gifts compiled by The Chronicle:

Yale University

The financier Stephen Schwarzman announced last week that he is giving $150 million to Yale University, his alma mater.

The money will go toward turning the university’s historic Commons and Memorial Hall into a high-tech student-life and cultural center that will be named for the donor. The center will include performance, meeting, and dining spaces.

Mr. Schwarzman, a co-founder of the Blackstone Group, earned a bachelor’s degree from Yale in 1969.

University of California at Los Angeles Anderson School of Management

The business school announced a $100 million donation from Marion Anderson, the widow of the school’s namesake, John Anderson. Of the total, $60 million will endow financial aid and fellowships for students, research, and other programs. The remaining $40 million will pay for a new building.

Mr. Anderson founded the holding company Topa Equities. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the university in 1940 and died in 2011.

Rice University

Venture capitalists John and Ann Doerr donated $50-million through their family foundation to Rice University, the institution announced. The money will establish a new leadership institute.

The Doerrs both earned bachelors and masters degrees in electrical engineering from Rice.

Field Museum

Bill and Linda Gantz gave $10 million to the Field Museum for a scientific research and specimen-collections center that will carry their name, the museum has announced. Mr. Gantz, chairman of Naurex, a biopharmaceutical company, is a Field trustee.

The museum announced a second $10 million gift last week from its board chairwoman, Connie Keller, and her husband, Dennis. The money will support an environmental-conservation center named for the Kellers. Mr. Keller co-founded the DeVry Education Group.

Southern Methodist University

Ellen Karelsen Solender, a retired Southern Methodist University law professor, is donating $2 million to the Dedman School of Law, the university announced last week. The money will establish and endow a professorship in women and the law.

Ms. Solender earned a J.D. from the law school in 1971 and in 1977 became the second woman in the law school’s history to gain tenure.

To learn about other big donations, see our database of gifts of $1 million or more, which is updated throughout the week.

Send an e-mail to Maria Di Mento.