Elsewhere online
June 05, 2015

Harvard Draws Megagifts With Move Into Naming Rights

Harvard University, long an exception to the higher-education trend of big donors' names adorning academic departments, is attracting unprecedented donations after reversing course, writes Boston.com.

The university, which had not christened a college for a benefactor since getting its first major donation from John Harvard in 1638, now has two schools named in recognition of gifts of $350 million from Hong Kong's Chan family last year and $400 million from hedge-fund mogul John Paulson this week.

The two donations make up more than 10 percent of Harvard's record $6.5 billion fundraising campaign, publicly launched in September 2013. Asked upon announcing the Paulson gift Wednesday what goes into deciding to rename a school, Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust said the university "looked at the schools and thought about what would a gift be that would have a huge and transforming [effect]. ... That has been the criteria for looking at what we would undertake."

See a Chronicle of Philanthropy article on naming rights.