Financier John Paulson Gives Hebrew U. $27 Million; 5 Other Nonprofits Win Big Gifts
MacKenzie Scott continues her giving spree to affordable-housing groups with a new $20 million donation to a nonprofit in Vermont.
Financier John Paulson is giving $27 million to American Friends of the Hebrew University to back the construction of a new building within the Rachel and Selim Benin School of Computer Science and Engineering, located on Hebrew University’s Edmond J. Safra Campus in Givat Ram, Israel.
Plus, MacKenzie Scott continues her giving spree to affordable housing groups with a new $20 million donation to a housing group in Vermont.
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A roundup of notable gifts compiled by the Chronicle:
American Friends of the Hebrew University
Financier John Paulson gave $27 million through his Paulson Family Foundation for the construction of a new building within the Rachel and Selim Benin School of Computer Science and Engineering, located on Hebrew University’s Edmond J. Safra Campus in Givat Ram, Israel.
Paulson founded and leads Paulson & Company, a hedge fund in New York. He is a longtime donor and has appeared on the Chronicle’s annual Philanthropy 50 list of the biggest donors four times since 2009.
Champlain Housing Trust
MacKenzie Scott gave $20 million through her Yield Giving fund. The gift is unrestricted, like almost all of Scott’s donations. Organization officials said in a news release that they plan to use the money to develop permanent affordable housing in Northwestern Vermont, increase BIPOC residents’ access to affordable housing, provide assistance to those experiencing homelessness, and support other programs.
Scott is a novelist who has given over $14 billion to more than 1,600 nonprofits over the past three years. Her estimated $34 billion fortune comes from stock she holds in the online retailing giant Amazon, which she helped found with her former husband Jeff Bezos nearly 30 years ago. This gift is among a number of large donations she has made to affordable-housing efforts over the past year.
University of Michigan
Nicole and Philip Hadley pledged $20 million to support the construction of a new recreation center, which will be named the Hadley Family Recreation & Well-Being Center. When completed, the center will house gymnasiums, an indoor aquatics center, a track, weight and cardiovascular training spaces, squash and racquetball courts, a cycling studio, and other spaces.
Philip Hadley was chairman and CEO of Factset Research Systems, a financial data and software company, from 2000 until 2015. The Hadleys’ daughter, Kate, graduated from the university in 2020, and their son, Eric, graduated in 2022 and earned a Master of Management degree from the university’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business in 2023.
George and Julia Argyros and their family gave $10 million through their Argyros Family Foundation to expand the George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics into the George L. Argyros College of Business and Economics. The college will be home to a number of Chapman’s schools dedicated to various areas of research and teaching, like the new Burra School of Accounting and Finance.
George Argyros founded Arnel & Affiliates, a real-estate development and management company, in Costa Mesa, Calif., in 1968. He served as the U.S. ambassador to Spain and Andorra from 2001 to 2004. He earned a degree in business and economics from what was then Chapman College in 1959 and proved instrumental in saving the institution from closing in 1975.
Chapman was on rocky financial footing at the time, and Argyros guaranteed a bank loan, renegotiated another loan, and secured another line of credit from the Disciples of Christ Church. He also enlisted other trustees’ support. Chapman stayed open and eventually grew into a university. The business school was named for him in 1999.
Financier Daria Lo Presti Wallach pledged $10 million to support the liberal-arts college in Pennsylvania. She earned a degree in English from the college in 1976 and went on to a career in finance. She worked for 28 years at Lord Abbett & Company, where she became the first woman partner and the first woman to serve as the investment firm’s managing partner.
This is not her first big gift to her alma mater. In 2020, Lo Presti Wallach gave $1.5 million to create and endow the Daria L. & Eric J. Wallach Professorship of Peace and Justice Studies. She serves on the college’s President’s Advisory Circle committee.
Milwaukee Public Museum
Bonnie and William Kellogg gave $10 million through their Kellogg Family Foundation to help pay for the construction of the natural-history museum’s new building and to name a gallery for William Kellogg’s parents, Winifred and Spencer Kellogg, who were frequent visitors to the museum.
William Kellogg is a former CEO of the Kohl’s department store chain. He worked as a store manager there earlier his career and in 1986 partnered with two other investors to buy the chain of what was then 40 Wisconsin stores. Kellogg and his partners expanded the company to eventually number more than 1,000 stores throughout the country. He and his partners took the company public in 1992, and Kellogg stepped down as CEO in 1999.
To learn about other big donations, see our database of gifts of $1 million or more, which is updated regularly.