Late Financier Karin Larson Leaves $32.5 Million for Continuing Studies Program
Plus, Hunt Companies chairman Woody Hunt gives $25 million for the study of trade and commerce between the United States and Mexico.
The late financier Karin Larson left $32.5 million to the University of Minnesota College of Continuing and Professional Studies. The bequest will endow financial aid and other programs for students in the College of Continuing and Professional Studies.
Plus, Hunt Companies chairman Woody Hunt gave $25 million for the study of trade and commerce between the United States and Mexico.
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A roundup of notable gifts compiled by the Chronicle:
University of Minnesota College of Continuing and Professional Studies
Karin Larson left an unrestricted donation of $32.5 million, which university officials have decided to use to endow financial aid and other programs for students in the College of Continuing and Professional Studies, including the Karin L. Larson Legacy Scholarship.
Larson, who died last year, was research director at the Capital Group, a financial-services firm in Los Angeles. She started her career as a secretary at the firm and later became an analyst and then a portfolio manager before directing the firm’s research division. She graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1961 with a degree in international relations and business.
University of Texas at El Paso
Woody and Gayle Hunt gave $25 million through their Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation to support the newly renamed Woody L. Hunt College of Business and support teaching and research on trade and commerce between the United States and Mexico.
Woody Hunt is senior chairman of Hunt Companies, a holding company that invests in real estate and other businesses. His father, grandfather, and uncle started the company as a retail lumber and hardware store in El Paso, where the company is still headquartered. Woody Hunt joined the family business in 1968 and became its chief executive officer and controlling shareholder in 1977. He currently leads the Texas Commission on Community College Finance.
His parents, Jack and Dorothy Woodley Hunt, attended the Texas College of Mines, the predecessor to UTEP, and graduated from its college of business in 1942 and 1941, respectively.
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
Isaac and Laura Perlmutter pledged $15 million through their Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Foundation to establish the Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice in an effort to train lawyers in the proper use of scientific evidence. The money will be paid over the next 10 years. Isaac Perlmutter is chairman and former chief executive of Marvel Entertainment.
The Perlmutter Center will include two main programs: The Perlmutter Freedom Clinic will focus on fighting wrongful convictions based on the misuse of scientific evidence and work to obtain clemency for individuals unjustly incarcerated, and the Perlmutter Forensic Science Education Program will train practicing attorneys about scientific evidence.
Florida International University
Lee Caplin and Gita Karasik gave $10 million to establish the Lee Caplin School of Journalism & Media and support programs within the journalism school that are aimed at preparing students to become multilingual professionals in the fields of journalism, digital media, animation, broadcast media, and film.
Caplin co-founded the Penske Media Corporation, which owns Variety magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, The Robb Report, Womenswear Daily magazine, and 20 other entertainment brands. He also works in film and television and produced the feature film Ali and the HBO television series True Detective. Gita Karasik is a concert pianist.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Adrienne Arsht pledged $10 million to support MetLiveArts, a department of the museum that commissions and presents live and digital performances from a range of artists who primarily focus on contemporary issues.
Arsht’s donation will be used mostly to back performances highlighting themes of resilience through art. This is her second gift to the museum for this purpose. She gave $5 million in 2020 to support MetLiveArts performances that champion resilience and directed a portion of that gift toward establishing a paid internship program for graduate and undergraduate students.
Arsht is a lawyer and businesswoman who served as chair of TotalBank, a Miami bank she sold to Banco Popular, with headquarters in Madrid, in 2007. She has given large sums to arts and culture groups, education institutions, and public affairs organizations and appeared on the 2008 Philanthropy 50. She has focused much of her giving in recent years on efforts aimed at building resiliency.
University of Chicago
Tom and Margot Pritzker gave $10 million through their Margot and Tom Pritzker Foundation to establish the Pritzker Plant Biology Center, a research center that will investigate new ways to promote plant growth and increase crop yield.
Tom Pritzker is executive chairman and CEO of the Pritzker Organization, which manages a collection of Pritzker family business holdings. He is also executive chairman of the Hyatt Hotels Corporation, which was co-founded by his father, Jay Pritzker, in 1957. Tom Pritzker earned both a law degree and an MBA from the university in 1976. Margot Pritzker founded WomenOnCall, a skills-based volunteer match organization.
To learn about other big donations, see our database of gifts of $1 million or more, which is updated regularly.