News and analysis
January 03, 2017

Gifts Roundup: $20 Million Donation Buttresses New Vanderbilt Colleges

A roundup of notable gifts compiled by The Chronicle:

Vanderbilt University

Jeffrey Rothschild and his wife, Marieke, gave $20 million through a donor-advised fund to support the university’s College Halls program to establish new residential colleges.

Mr. Rothschild co-founded Veritas Software and led the development of Facebook’s platform as the company’s founding vice president for engineering. He graduated from Vanderbilt with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1977 and a master’s in computer science in 1979.

In 2013, the Rothschilds established two scholarships — one to provide financial aid for incoming students at Vanderbilt’s School of Engineering and another for College of Arts and Science students.

Chicago Park District

Financier Kenneth Griffin donated $12 million to help pay for improvements to Chicago’s Lakefront Trail.

The money will help create separate lanes for cyclists and pedestrians on the 18-mile route along the Lake Michigan coast.

Mr. Griffin founded the hedge-fund Citadel in 1990.

University of Chicago Laboratory Schools

John Rogers Jr., the chief executive of Chicago finance firm Ariel Investments, pledged $10.5 million for scholarships and a professional-development program for low-income students.

Of the total, $4.5 million will establish and endow the Ariel Investments Internship Program in Finance, a program to expand opportunities for minority students pursuing careers in finance.

Another $4 million will go toward the John W. Rogers and Victoria Marie Rogers Scholarship Fund, a part of the university’s endowment that supports scholarships at the Laboratory Schools. The remainder of the gift will back career advising, professional-development workshops, networking opportunities, and internships.

Mr. Rogers graduated from the Laboratory Schools in 1976 and formerly served as the chairman of the private school’s Board of Directors.

Equal Justice Initiative

Siblings Pat and Jon Stryker gave $5 million apiece to help the organization build a memorial to the victims of racially motivated lynchings in the United States.

Jon Stryker is president and founder of the Arcus Foundation, a grant maker that backs efforts to fight discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, and programs aimed at ensuring the survival of great apes and their habitats. Pat Stryker founded the Bohemian Foundation, which supports a variety of causes.

The brother and sister said they made the gifts in honor of their late father, Lee Stryker, an early financial supporter of the civil-rights movement. Lee Stryker was the son of Homer Stryker, a doctor and inventor who founded Stryker Corporation, a medical-supply company.

California State University at Los Angeles

William and Patricia Chin donated $7 million to establish the Chin Family Institute for Nursing.

Dr. William Chin is a former executive medical director of HealthCare Partners, which he co-founded. Patricia Chin is a retired director of the School of Nursing at Cal State L.A. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the university in the 1980s.

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

Send an email to Maria Di Mento.