September 21, 2015

Gifts Roundup: National Zoo Pandas and U. of Buffalo Get Big Donations

Erika Bauer, Smithsonian's National Zoo, Getty Images

David Rubenstein's $4.5 million gift to the zoo will support its giant-panda research and conservation program through the end of 2020.

A roundup of notable gifts compiled by The Chronicle:

University at Buffalo

Jeremy Jacobs, chairman of his family’s hospitality and food-service company, Delaware North, and his wife, Margaret, gave $30 million to the university’s School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

The money will be used to expand new approaches to medical education, research, and patient care.

Mr. Jacobs has served as chairman of the University at Buffalo Council since 1998 and currently serves as co-chairman of the medical school’s fundraising committee. He owns the Boston Bruins an NHL hockey team.

Scripps Research Institute

Helen Dorris gave $5.6 million to the institute for endowment for the Dorris Neuroscience Center, which the donor helped to establish with a $10 million gift in 1999.

Ms. Dorris is a San Diego State University professor emerita and a mental-health advocate.

Smithsonian National Zoological Park

David Rubenstein, a co-founder of the private-equity firm the Carlyle Group, pledged $4.5 million to the zoo and its Conservation Biology Institute to support its giant-panda research and conservation program through the end of 2020.

Including this most recent donation, Mr. Rubenstein has donated a total of $9 million to the giant panda program since 2011.

He has served on the Smithsonian’s Board of Regents since 2009.

Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History

David Friend, founder of the online backup service Carbonite, gave $4 million to renovate an auditorium to house the museum’s mineral and gem collection.

Some of the money will also help pay for new mineral specimens and displays and endowment.

Mr. Friend graduated from Yale in 1969. The new space will be named for him.

Michigan State University

Draymond Green, a professional basketball player, gave $3.1 million to Michigan State University Athletics to endow the men’s basketball program and help pay for a strength and conditioning center.

Mr. Green earned a communication arts and sciences degree from the university in 2012 and currently plays for the Golden State Warriors NBA team.

Morehouse School of Medicine

The retired major-league baseball legend Hank Aaron and his wife, Billye, gave $3 million to the medical school.

The money will be used to expand the Hugh Gloster Medical Education building and create the Billye Suber Aaron Student Pavilion.

Mr. Aaron, who played for the Milwaukee Braves for 20 years, serves as an executive with the Atlanta Braves baseball team and owns car dealerships in the Atlanta area.

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.