Ronald O. Perelman, chairman and chief executive officer of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc., has donated $100 million to the Columbia Business School’s planned building in Manhattanville, Columbia announced Thursday.
The gift joins Henry Kravis’ $100 million contribution in 2010 as the largest in the school’s history.
Perelman, who sits on the school’s Board of Overseers, said in a statement that the gift signifies an investment in the next generation of business leaders.
“The business landscape is changing rapidly and dramatically, and as such the principles that define strong business leadership—such as an entrepreneurial mindset and solving complex challenges—are more important now than ever before,” Perelman said.
“It is our responsibility to ensure that we are building a generation of great business leaders who drive success in an ever-changing, competitive global economy, and I believe Columbia Business School has its finger on the pulse of the changing nature of business education.”
The Business School’s two buildings in Manhattanville will be named for their two largest donors, University President Lee Bollinger announced—the Ronald O. Perelman Center for Business Innovation and the Henry R. Kravis Building.
Bollinger said that Perelman’s gift comes at a critical time in business education, when the global economy has posed new challenges for business schools.
“His major gift will not only benefit future generations of Columbia Business School students, but a wider University community in which a dynamic business education must play a vital role in the broader academic mission,” Bollinger said in a statement.
Glenn Hubbard, dean of Columbia Business School, said that the center would help the school maintain its spirit of collaboration and innovation.
“The Perelman Center will allow Columbia Business School to continue pioneering breakthroughs in management education, such as moving beyond functional expertise or siloed learning and ensuring a more integrated curriculum for our students,” he said.
Perelman, who Forbes estimates is worth $12.2 billion, has been a major supporter of medical research at various universities and hospitals, including New York Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College.
Unlike Kravis, who graduated from Columbia Business School in 1969, Perelman graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School with a master’s degree in business administration in 1966.
Correction: A photo caption for this article stated that the new Business School facilities will encompass 45,000 square feet. They will actually encompass 450,000 square feet. Spectator regrets the error.