News and analysis
October 03, 2016

Gifts Roundup: Buffalo Art Museum Gets $42 Million; Rap Mogul Diddy Gives $1 Million to Howard U.

Howard University

Sean “Diddy” Combs (right) pledged $1 million to Howard University during a September 22 concert in Washington, D.C. The hip-hop star and entrepreneur studied business at Howard before embarking on a music career.

A roundup of notable gifts compiled by The Chronicle:

Albright-Knox Art Gallery

Financier Jeffrey Gundlach gave $42.5 million to the museum to expand and renovate its galleries and visitor services.

The money will also go toward a project to better integrate the Buffalo, N.Y., museum’s campus with Delaware Park, the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed park in which it is located. The gallery will be renamed the Buffalo Albright-Knox-Gundlach Art Museum.

Mr. Gundlach, who founded the investment firm DoubleLine Capital, predicated the gift on the museum raising additional funds from other sources. So far it has secured more than $40.5 million from other individuals, foundations, and corporations and expects to receive about $20 million in government grants.

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

The family of Brian Roberts, chief executive of broadcasting and cable-television giant Comcast, donated $25 million to create the Roberts Collaborative for Genetics and Individualized Medicine.

The new program will integrate the hospital’s clinical departments, divisions, and centers to advance genetics-based diagnostic tools and treatments for pediatric patients.

Mr. Roberts’s father, Ralph Roberts, who died last year, co-founded Comcast in the 1960s.

University of Texas at Austin

Robert Patton Jr. and his wife, Sherri, pledged $20 million to endow faculty positions; graduate student fellowships; and study-abroad, research, and internship programs for undergraduates in the College of Liberal Arts.

Mr. Patton operates oil and gas properties in Texas and Kansas, has holdings in ranching and insurance, and is a co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is a university alumnus and serves on the College of Liberal Arts Advisory Council. Ms. Patton formerly served as an assistant district attorney in Dallas.

Temple Emanu-El

John Streicker, who serves as president of the New York City synagogue, gave $15 million to support its Skirball Center, which will be renamed for the donor. Most of the gift will be used to endow and expand the center’s educational and events programs.

Mr. Streicker is a lawyer and the chairman of the Sentinel Real Estate Corporation, an international property firm. He also owns a winery, Clairault Streicker Wines, in Western Australia.

University of Notre Dame

Robert and Joan McGrath donated $15 million to endow the university’s Institute for Church Life, which provides programs in theological education, research, faith formation, and leadership development.

Mr. McGrath earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Notre Dame in 1955 and went on to found McGrath RentCorp, which rents modular buildings, electronic test equipment, and liquid and solid containment tanks and boxes to other companies. Ms. McGrath is a former executive vice president of the company.

Washington University School of Medicine

Andrew and Jane Bursky gave $10 million to back research on the immune system’s role in fighting cancer, infectious diseases, and disorders caused by autoimmunity and immune deficiencies.

An immunology center will be named for the donors. The gift also endows a professorship within the center.

Mr. Bursky is a co-founder of private-equity firm Atlas Holdings. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics and engineering at the St. Louis university and serves on its Board of Trustees. Ms. Bursky earned a bachelor’s degree in French and education at Washington.

Northwestern University

Christopher Galvin, his mother, Mary, and their family donated more than $10.2 million through the Christopher B. Galvin Family Foundation.

Most of the donation — $10 million — will support the university’s Kellogg School of Management. The remaining $250,000 will go to the NUseeds Fund, a venture-capital fund that provides money to help launch businesses and other endeavors created by Northwestern students.

Mr. Galvin is a former chief executive of Motorola and co-founded the investment firm Harrison Street Capital. His grandfather, Paul, helped start Motorola in the 1920s. Several family members, including Christopher and Mary Galvin, graduated from Northwestern.

Howard University

Hip-hop artist and entrepreneur Sean "Diddy" Combs pledged $1 million to establish the Sean Combs Scholarship Fund in the university’s School of Business. It will provide scholarships to undergraduates majoring in business.

The three-time Grammy Award winner founded Combs Enterprises, which manages his investments in entertainment, fashion, and other fields. He studied business at Howard for two years before leaving in 1990 to pursue a music career.

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.