Two big-name, big-pocket investors have donated a total of $40 million toward the Business School’s planned buildings in Manhattanville, Columbia announced on Monday.
Arthur J. Samberg, founder of Pequot Capital Management Inc., pledged $25 million, and Mario J. Gabelli, the chairman and CEO of investment firm GAMCO Investors Inc., pledged $15 million, Columbia announced Monday.
With $400 million in donations and $100 million committed by the University's central administration, the Business School is now within $100 million of its $600 million goal for the buildings, spokesperson Evan Nowell said in a statement. Samberg and Gabelli's pledges follow other high-profile gifts, including a $100 million donation from financier Ronald Perelman in May.
The buildings, designed by architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro and FXFOWLE, will encompass more than 450,000 square feet on the new campus. Construction on the buildings likely won't begin for another year and a half to two years, University President Lee Bollinger estimated in May.
Samberg and Gabelli, both Business ’67, are members of the Business School’s Board of Overseers. They said in a statement that they wanted to give others the same opportunities they themselves had enjoyed.
“My parents did not have a formal education,” said Gabelli, a first-generation Italian American whose net worth Forbes estimated at $1.2 billion in March. “But in this country, I had the opportunity to progress through a great education.”
Samberg, who also gave the Business School $25 million in 2006, paid the Securities and Exchange Commission $28 million in a 2010 settlement over accusations of insider trading of Microsoft shares.
“I had the good fortune to attend a number of elite schools, but many people don’t have the advantages I had,” Samberg said. “In supporting Columbia Business School, I’m helping others, who didn’t grow up in the same environment, get a chance to advance.”
Correction: An earlier version of this article reversed the positions of the two donors. Samberg is the founder of Pequot Capital Management Inc. and Gabelli is the chairman and CEO of investment firm GAMCO Investors Inc. Spectator regrets the error.