Article
September 14, 2015

Gifts Roundup: Claremont College Gets $25 Million, and Dolphins Owner Pledges $20 Million to NYU Law School


The $25 million gift to Claremont College will support a variety of programs at the Rick and Susan Sontag Center for Collaborative Creativity.

A Roundup of Notable Gifts Compiled by The Chronicle:

The Claremont Colleges

Rick and Susan Sontag gave $25 million to establish and endow the Rick and Susan Sontag Center for Collaborative Creativity for undergraduate students at the institution’s Pomona, Scripps, Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, and Pitzer colleges.

The center will offer a variety of programs including drop-in and unstructured brainstorming sessions, workshops, and other activities.

The couple founded Unison Industries, which designed and manufactured airplane electrical systems. They sold the company to General Electric in 2002. Mr. and Ms. Sontag graduated in 1964 from Harvey Mudd College and Pomona College, respectively.

Connecticut College

Robert Hale, chief executive of Granite Telecommunications, and his wife, Karen, gave $20 million to the college to support three areas.

Of the total, $10 million will go toward scholarships, $5 million will support a career program, and the remaining $5 million will pay for upgrades to the college’s athletics facilities.

Mr. Hale graduated from the college in 1988.

New York University School of Law

Stephen Ross, the chairman and founder of Related Companies and owner of the Miami Dolphins, pledged $20 million to the law school. He earned a Master of Laws and Taxation degree from the school in 1966.

The university won’t receive the bulk of the donation until after Mr. Ross’s death. Most of it will go toward financial aid.

University of Notre Dame

Sean Cullinan, a hedge-fund manager, and his wife, Sue, gave $20 million to the university for a new program that will support tuition and fees, room and board, books, transportation, and personal expenses for students from low-income households who have been accepted into Notre Dame.

The money will also support a program to help those students acclimate to university life.

Mr. Cullinan graduated from the university in 1988. Two of the Cullinans’s three children are students there.

Harvard University

Eric Mindich, the founder of Eton Park Capital Management, and his wife, Stacey, a theater producer, gave $15 million to the university to establish the Mindich Program in Engaged Scholarship, an effort to link public-service activities for students to the curriculum.

The gift will also endow fellowships for students who want to pursue summer work in public-service jobs.

Mr. Mindich graduated from Harvard in 1988.

University of Pennsylvania Law School

Lawyer Michael J. Rotko gave $1 million to endow the Denise A. Rotko Associate Deanship of Legal Writing and Communications.

The professorship is named for the donor’s late wife, who earned nursing degrees from the university and taught at its School of Nursing. Mr. Rotko earned his law degree from the university in 1963.

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.